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The Importance of Vehicle Camera for Autonomous Driving

The vehicle-mounted camera is the main visual sensor of the ADAS system. After the lens collects the image, the image is processed by the photosensitive component, circuit, and control component in the vehicle camera and converted into a digital signal that can be processed by the computer. In this way, the system can realize ADAS functions such as sensing the road conditions around the vehicle, forward collision warning, lane deviation warning, and pedestrian detection. At present, in-vehicle cameras play a pivotal role in ADAS and driverless technology.


Ⅰ. The initial development of the vehicle camera market


In the early stage of market development, because radar technology is mature and not affected by weather conditions, radar/lidar solutions are the mainstream of the market. However, with the development of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) and the improvement of image processing algorithms, and because radar technology is more accurate in distinguishing metal obstacles, it is unable to distinguish non-metal obstacles such as pedestrians and cannot accurately identify vehicles approaching from the side and cannot distinguish lanes, debris or road potholes.


The visual processing technology of the cam for a car can better distinguish the signs on the road, pedestrians, and other information, and can also calculate the movement trajectory of pedestrians and vehicles through algorithms. Compared with radar technology, the cost is lower, the function is more comprehensive, and the accuracy is higher.


Ⅱ. Technical development of vehicle camera


The vehicle camera imaging technology is gradually accepted by mainstream manufacturers. Considering the limitations of vehicle camera pixels on image recognition technology and the reduction of functions in extreme conditions such as fog and rain, sensor fusion based on vehicle cameras will become the mainstream.


From bottom to top, the Internet of Vehicles structure is the perception layer, the network layer, and the application layer, which are responsible for information collection, transmission, and processing functions.


Ⅲ. The wide application of vehicle camera


According to the application field, the applications of the vehicle camera can be divided into driving assistance (driving recorder, ADAS, and active safety system), parking assistance (the whole vehicle surround view), and in-vehicle personnel monitoring (face recognition technology). And these functions come with the entire process of the vehicle from driving to parking, so there are higher requirements for the working time and temperature of the vehicle camera.


According to the installation position, there are four parts: front view, rearview, side view, and interior monitoring.


Currently, front-view and rear-view cameras are the most widely used. As the penetration rate of ADAS systems increases and technologies such as face recognition is used in automotive electronics, in-vehicle and side-view cameras will be further used.

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