Characterized by its compact size and installation handiness, VOD provides Short-range Obstacle Detection and an Undistorted View of the monitored area.
The information provided by both functionalities are gathered and processed by different applications to increment road safety and improve the driver’s comfort.
VOD’s components are two arbitrarily aligned cameras with wide angle lenses that acquire images of a wide area surrounding the vehicle. VOD’s other remarkable characteristic is a distinctive robustness and flexibility of installation: due to its autocalibration capability, no trained labour will be necessary to set-up and maintain the system.
Short-range Obstacle Detection and the Undistorted View of the monitored area around the vehicle, are the basic functionalities on which VOD’s applications are based.
While other technologies already provide obstacle localization (e.g. radars, laserscanners, sonars), VOD offers a comprehensive visualization of all monitored areas through an on-board display, offering to the driver a clear understanding of what caused the system intervention.
The Start Inhibit application is automatically enabled when the vehicle engine is turned on and disabled once the driving speed has reached 5km/h. Once an obstacle has been detected, VOD provides acoustic and optical warnings, and generates CAN messages that can be used to activate other signals, such as electric seat-belt retractor systems. The obstacles detected by the system can be visualized on an on-board display, and graphically enhanced to provide immediate evidence to the driver.
The Low-speed Obstacle Detection application is activated in case of low-speed driving (below 15km/h). It localizes obstacles in the close neighborhood of the vehicle, providing acoustic and optical warnings to the driver.
As for the Start Inhibit application, the detected obstacles can be visualized on an on-board display.
The Free Space application is specifically useful for parking automation and can be enhanced by road markings detection to ease the interpretation of the scene.
Hardware and Integration
VOD acquires information from the environment surrounding the vehicle thanks to two low-cost cameras, whereas the processing algorithm runs on a low-cost and low-power DSP. Results of the processing can be visualized on an on-board display.
In order to read vehicle data (e.g. speed and steering angle) and provide feedback to the vehicle itself or to other safety devices on board, VOD features an interface to the vehicle’s CAN bus.
The stereo cameras can be mounted at an height ranging from 1â€Šm to 3â€Šm over the ground depending on vehicle style and physical constraints.
Additional customized functionalities can be provided as separate plug-ins to the standard system.
A special plugin to provide detection of curbs and lane markings, including sharp curves, was successfully fielded on the TerraMax vehicle at the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.
The product brochure is also available for download here.