Studies have found that cameras are the best way to improve visibility around a vehicle. There has been growing global interest in car-mounted cameras to improve the driver’s awareness of surrounding and make driving safer. Not surprisingly, vehicle-mounted cameras have grown in popularity as a tool for enhancing driver safety—and are also facing proposed legislative mandates in many countries.
Drivers navigate their vehicles in a variety of situations, such as parking, turning, and merging, that demand immediate visual checks of the vehicle's perimeter. But the current reversing and peripheral vision cameras demand too much of drivers. With conventional technologies, each camera shows a different perspective and sightline. Because the display changes instantly, the driver must be able to instantly recognize which view is being presented, which can be difficult.
The underlying technologies behind such systems are conventional, multi-camera, “bird’s-eye-view” technologies (see figure below) that stitch together two-dimensional images showing a vehicle’s perimeter from front, side, and rear cameras. The resulting “top-view” images typically are distorted or have poor stitching at the seams. These images do not provide enough detail about the surrounding area, and drivers could easily miss something important—objects and pedestrians.
These bird’s-eye-view systems' conventional technology-based images do not meet the need of reducing the burden on the driver for visual checks in the driver’s field of view.
In addition to the driver’s own direct-eye field of view, rearview, and sideview mirrors, as well as rearview monitors, enhance the field of view. Although these features can be used to quickly cover a great field of view, the need to instantly refer to all of them imposes a great cognitive load on the driver.
The four-camera bird’s-eye-view systems (figure below) only provide a video of the roadway within about two meters of the vehicle, necessitating a rearview monitor. These cameras do not integrate the field-of-view information the driver requires, thus failing to adequately reduce the cognitive load on the driver.
The conventional technology also falls short of helping the driver recognize the point of view (perspective), sightline, and field of view shown on the monitor.
With conventional technologies, each camera and each function differs in perspective and sightline. Because the display changes instantly, the driver must be able to instantly recognize which view is being presented. This makes it more difficult to make a perimeter check and limits the situations in which the technology can be used effectively. In addition, it takes a long time to get used to such systems.