Multi Angle Vision™ System to supplement Driver`s

Multi Angle Vision™ System to supplement Driver`s
Multi Angle Vision™ System to supplement
Driver's Visual Field
Seiya SHIMIZU
Susumu TANIGUCHI
Tadashi KIDENA
Hiroshi YAMADA
Masahiro YAMADA
Abstract
Recently, the market needs has grown for the vehicle-mounted camera system to supplement driver's visual
field, mainly those for back monitors. Moreover, the technologies for the system are advancing. Among them,
one technology provides images of downward view from the sky (bird's eye view images) to drivers by using four
fish-eye cameras, for easy parallel parking, etc. Products using this technology have been commercialized one after
another.
The conventional system was useful only in limited scene because it could provide images of limited areas and
from limited angles.
With "the 3-D virtual projection viewpoint conversion technology," we developed "Multi Angle Vision™,"
which is a surrounding monitoring system that combines video images into 3-dimensional images with the area
near the vehicle displayed onto a plane representing the road, and the surrounding area distant from the vehicle
onto curved surface.
This system is characterized by displaying images of the surroundings of the vehicle in 3-dimensional bird's eye
view from any arbitrary angle according to driving scene such as parking, and greatly contributes to supplement
driver's visual field. Moreover, the nighttime visibility is ensured for the right and left sides of the vehicle where
visibility is poor when the illumination intensity is low, e.g. in the nighttime, by adopting a near infrared LED
lighting system, which allows drivers to see entirely around their vehicles even in the nighttime.
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Multi Angle Vision™ System to supplement Driver's Visual Field
1
1. Introduction
Introduction
Recently, an increasingly popular system is the vehicle-mounted camera system that assists drivers in checking the surroundings of their vehicles that the drivers
cannot see directly (to supplement drivers' visual field),
by displaying camera images of the surroundings. In
recent days, manufacturers have released new products
one after another. Those products are equipped with the
system that supplements the driver's visual field (system
to supplement driver's visual field) by combination of two
or more cameras, rather than by one camera, to reduce
the blind zones in broader range. The technology for the
vehicle-mounted camera system is advancing.
FUJITSU TEN has developed "Multi Angle Vision™,"
which is the world first system to supplement driver's
visual field that can display 3-dimensional bird's eye view
images of the entire circumference of the vehicle from
various angles. This paper introduces the outline and element technologies of the Multi Angle Vision™.
2
2. Reasons
for Development
Development
Reasons
for
2.1 Market Needs for Vehicle-mounted Camera
System
Recently, the needs for the vehicle-mounted camera
system, mainly back monitors, have been grown. For
example, in February 2008, the U.S. congress passed the
bill "Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act of
2007," which requires securing rearward visibility behind
the vehicle. In Japan, the vehicle- mounted camera system to supplement driver's visual field rapidly becomes
popular with more than 4 million cameras to be mounted
on vehicles shipped from factories in 1997. It is expected
that a recent increase in women drivers and senior drivers will further enhance the needs for the vehiclemounted camera system in the future.
Examples of Conventional Vehicle-mounted Camera
Systems
・Back monitor
To supplement driver's visual field when a driver
backs the vehicle by displaying camera images behind
the vehicle, using a camera on the rear end of the vehicle
・Blind corner monitor
To supplement driver's visual field when a driver
enters an intersection with poor visibility by displaying
camera images ahead of the vehicle, using a camera on
the front end of the vehicle
・Bird's eye view image system
To supplement driver's visual field when a driver parallel parks the vehicle by displaying camera images
looked down from the sky above the vehicle, using four
cameras on the vehicle
Moreover, many manufacturers have commercialized
various types of products using the vehicle-mounted camera system, ranging from the system equipped with one
camera such as a backside camera (back monitor) to the
bird's eye view image system equipped with four cam-
eras providing camera images looked down from the sky
above the vehicle to show the road situation near the
vehicle. The technology for the vehicle-mounted camera
system is advancing as the market needs for the system
is increasing.
2.2 Problems in Conventional System to
Supplement Driver's Visual Field
During driving, drivers always have a feeling of
uneasiness that there may be something around the vehicle. All the vehicle-mounted camera systems described in
the previous section are intended to eliminate the uneasiness by providing camera images of zones that drivers
cannot see directly. Generally, the following three are
cited as factors giving uneasiness to drivers.
①Vehicle body structure interrupting driver's visual
field
Vehicle body, pillars, etc.
②Obstacles around vehicle interrupting driver's visual
field
Buildings, other vehicles, pedestrians, etc.
③Characteristics of human eyes
Unable to see entire 360-degree surroundings at one
time
Actually, one or a combination of these factors exists
and interferes with safe driving of drivers. Therefore,
vehicle-mounted camera system is required to eliminate
all these factors. However, the conventional system cannot sufficiently serve this purpose. For example, a back
monitor or a blind corner monitor supplements the driver's visual field by displaying camera images of blind
zones created by the vehicle body or an obstacle(s)
around the vehicle, in the scenes where the driver is
assumed to use the monitor system. However, those systems only provide partial images of the blind zones such
as the area behind the vehicle or the area behind a wall.
In terms of supplementing the characteristics of human
eyes, those systems do not fulfill the purpose. Moreover,
the bird's eye view image system can show road conditions around the vehicle at one time by providing camera
images looked down from a higher position over the vehicle. However, the camera images are limited to the view
from a predetermined fixed angle so that the images are
only useful under limited scenes. As a result, conventional systems supplement the driver's visual field by displaying no more than partial images of blind zones around the
vehicle only under limited scenes where each of those
systems is supposed to support the driver, and do not
achieve the comprehensive support including supplementing of the characteristics of human eyes.
In addition to elimination of those factors, it is important to take measures to improve cameras for better
nighttime visibility. Compared to the bright daytime, it is
more difficult to notice the existence of obstacles on the
display in the nighttime when it is dark after the sun
sinks because camera images captured by cameras are
also dark (Fig. 1). It is required to improve the cameras
so that they surely capture the images of obstacles
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FUJITSU TEN TECHNICAL JOURNAL
around the vehicle even under the dark environment.
Cameras dedicated for Multi Angle Vision™
Horizontal angle of view: 190 degrees
Side cameras: built-in near-infrared LED
Daytime
Back camera
Front camera
Side camera
(Driver's side)
Side camera
(Passenger's side)
Nighttime
Fig.1 Difference in Camera Image Brightness between
in Daytime and in Nighttime
This time we developed "Multi Angle Vision™," which
supplements not only the driver's visual field to eliminate
blind zones created by the vehicle body and/or obstacles
around the vehicle but also the characteristics of the drivers' eyes. The Multi Angle Vision™ allows drivers to
see entire 360-degree surroundings of the vehicle from
various angles. Therefore, it is the system to supplement
driver's visual field that is capable of supporting the visual field of users in total from when they get in their vehicles to when they drive the cars.
ECU
Combine images using "3-D virtual projection/point of
view conversion technology"
AVN (compatible with Multi Angle Vision™)
Technologies
ofSystem
"Multi
AngleDriver'
Vision™,"
3. ElementElement
of "Multi Angle Vision™,"
to supplement
s Visual Field
3 Technologies
System to supplement Driver's Visual Field
3.1 Outline of Multi Angle Vision™
The Multi Angle Vision™ is the world's first system
that supplements the driver's visual field. Using an ECU,
the system combines images around a vehicle captured
by four cameras that are used only for this system and
that mounted on the right side, left side, front end and
rear end of the vehicle, and displays 3-dimensional bird's
eye view images, to allow the drivers to see around the
vehicle including blind zones.
This system includes four cameras dedicated for this
system, an ECU, and an AVN. The images around the
vehicle, captured by the four dedicated cameras, are
aggregated in the ECU. The aggregated images are combined into an image on a real-time basis and projected on
a 3-dimensional model using the "3-D virtual
projection/point of view conversion technology 1)." The
images are displayed on the AVN in accordance with the
scene to supplement the driver's visual field (Fig. 2).
Display of image in accordance with scene
Fig.2 Outline of Multi Angle Vision™
The "3-D virtual projection/point of view conversion
technology" allows this system to display bird's eye view
images 360-degree around the vehicle from any arbitrary
position in 3-dimension. For example, using this system,
an image can be rotated around the vehicle of the driver
to check the safety around the vehicle, as shown in Fig. 3.
Moreover, unique images that cannot be achieved by the
conventional system can be displayed. An example of
those images is the one showing the vehicle viewed from
behind the vehicle, as shown in Fig. 4. The images below
are a couple of other image examples able to be displayed
by the system (Fig. 5 and Fig. 6).
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Multi Angle Vision™ System to supplement Driver's Visual Field
Fig.3 Image Used for Check Surroundings of Vehicle
On the other hand, the cameras of this system must
be mounted with extreme accuracy. In order to make
sure of the mounting of the cameras at the accurate positions, "calibration" is performed to correct tiny errors
made during the mounting of the cameras so that misalignment of combined images does not occur.
Moreover, we developed "near infrared LED lighting
system" in order to enhance the visibility of camera
images of obstacles around the vehicle in the nighttime.
This improvement enhances the visibility of camera
images captured in the nighttime and enables the system
to supplement the driver's visual field in the daytime and
nighttime.
Furthermore, the system equipped with functions to
meet the future expansion of models of vehicles, such as
a slot for a SD card on the ECU to read in data for
upgrading.
The outline and the structure of the Multi Angle
Vision™ are mentioned above. The following sections
will explain the key element technologies for the Multi
Angle Vision™: 3-D virtual projection/point of view conversion technology; calibration; and the technology for
enhancing nighttime visibility using near infrared LED
lighting system.
3.2 Technology for Showing Surroundings All
around Vehicle from Arbitrary Viewpoint
Fig.4 Image Used for Check at Intersection with Poor Visibility
Fig.5 Image Used for Parking
The camera images from four cameras mounted on
the vehicle are combined using the "3-D virtual projection/ point of view conversion technology." The "3-D virtual projection/point of view conversion technology" is
the technology that projects an image on a 3-D model and
then converts the projected image into the image viewed
from an arbitrary viewpoint. Using this technology, our
newly developed system is able to show images substantially different from the one created by conventional systems using conventional technologies.
The conventional bird's eye view image system converts camera images from the four cameras, on a 2-D
plain surface to combine them into bird's eye view
images. Therefore, objects around the vehicle are
stretched in those images. Another disadvantage of the
conventional system is that it is only capable to display
downward images viewed from a certain viewpoint over
the vehicle. That means that the system is only useful to
show certain areas and for certain scenes (Fig. 7).
Fig.6 Image Used for Parking on Verge of Road
Fig.7 Image Example Projected on 2-D Model
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On the other hand, our new system combines camera
images on the 3-D model where the area near the vehicle
is designed to be projected on the plain surface of a road
and the area distant from the vehicle on a curved surface
(Fig. 8), which can prevent objects around the vehicle
from being stretched out of shape and can provide drivers with camera images of an area wider than the one
provided by conventional systems. In addition, by including a LSI capable of fast arithmetic processing, this system can computes an image from a viewpoint, in real
time. Therefore, besides the conventional bird's eye view
images viewed from the sky over the vehicle, images
around the vehicle viewed from various angles can be
provided to drivers, and the driver's visual field can be
supplemented in many scenes.
Conventional
Multi Angle Vision™
Fig.9 Examples of Borderlines between Camera Images
The calibration adopts the method that eases restrictions relating to work space, work time and equipment.
For example, the markers are allowed to be placed at
arbitrary positions if the cameras can capture the markers. Therefore, it does not have to secure work space
used only for the Multi Angle Vision™. The application
used for the work is installed in the ECU. The work can
be performed using the AVN so that there is no need to
prepare special equipment (such as a PC).
3.4 Supplementing of Drivers' View in Nighttime
Possible to check area around vehicle from
various angles
In the nighttime, the camera images captured by the
cameras are dark and visibility becomes lower. In the
case of a vehicle-mounted camera system with cameras
respectively mounted on the front end, back end, right
side and left side of a vehicle, the cameras on the front
and back ends can capture relatively bright images due
to the lighting system originally installed on the vehicle.
However, the images captured by the side cameras are
dark because there is no lighting system to light the sides
of the vehicle (Fig. 10).
Front
Back
Left
Right
Fig.8 Image Example Projected on 3-D Model
3.3 Seamlessly Combined Camera Images
The calibration is performed to correct misalignment
of combined images caused by a tiny error in position of
the cameras when the system is mounted. Calibration is
a technology that automatically computes the mounting
information (position and angle) of each of the cameras
mounted on a vehicle by capturing the camera images of
markers around the vehicle by those cameras, and then
combines the camera images seamlessly while automatically adjusting tiny misalignment caused on the combined
images in accordance with the computation results.
This technology enables the system to combine the
camera images seamlessly and to eliminate borderlines
between camera images captured by the cameras
although those borderlines are conspicuous between the
camera images combined by conventional systems (Fig. 9).
Fig.10 Camera Images Captured in Nighttime
Combining the camera images on which the sides of
the vehicle are dark only produces combined bird's eye
view images with the dark sides of the vehicle.
Therefore, a lighting system is required to develop to
ensure the visibility of the side cameras. The following
are the three points that we addressed to develop a lighting system for the side cameras.
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Multi Angle Vision™ System to supplement Driver's Visual Field
①Use of invisible near infrared light as light source
Near infrared light is adopted as a light source because
it is invisible and does not prevent driving of the drivers of the vehicle and other vehicles.
②Camera sensing near infrared light
IR cut filters, which block near infrared light, are
removed from the cameras.
③Entire side areas lit by lighting system
In order to ensure visibility all around the vehicle even
in the nighttime, extensive entire side areas are set to
be lit (Fig. 11).
Fig.13 Example Images with Lighting System on in Nighttime
Irradiation area by near infrared LED
lighting system
Fig.11 Irradiation Area by Near Infrared LED Lighting of This System
By ensuring a certain level of nighttime visibility of
side cameras, we achieved the supplementing of the driver's visual field to see the entire circumference of the
vehicle in the daytime and in the nighttime by taking
these measures (Fig. 12). Moreover, since being able to
light the entire side areas, the lighting system can be
used not for some specific camera images but for any
camera images during driving (Fig. 13).
When turned off
When turned on
4
4. Screen
Designfrom
from a
a Driver
Screen
Design
DriverViewpoint
Viewpoint
4.1 Easy-to-understand Images according to Scene
The images are designed to display such that drivers
easily understand and use the on various scenes. For
example, for checking scenes of the sides of the road in
front of the vehicle, the blind corner monitor of this system displays an image of the vehicle viewed from behind
the vehicle as well as an image equal to the image displayed by a conventional system. As a result, when turning right or left at an intersection with poor visibility, the
driver can simultaneously check the scene of the sides of
the road in front of the vehicle and a rear wheel of the
vehicle to prevent a person/a thing from being caught
under the rear wheel (Fig. 14).
Check scene of sides
of road in front
Check scene near
rear wheel
Fig.14 Images Used for Turning Left at Intersection with Poor Visibility
Fig.12 Difference in Brightness of Bird's Eye View Images
between with Lights on and with Lights off
Moreover, this system is equipped with the function
of changing viewing angle of the bird's eye view image,
according to a choice of the driver, when he/she parks
the vehicle, utilizing the characteristic of this system that
can converts the image on the 3-dimensional model to the
one viewed from an arbitrary viewpoint. This system
provides three choices of angles that drivers can select an
angle between those choices if desired (Fig. 15).
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Screen for angle selection
ALPHARD
PRIUS
視点角度 0°
Fig.16 Example of Vehicle CGs according to Vehicle Model
5
視点角度 30°
Fig.15 Images at Different Viewing Angles
4.2 Matching of Vehicle CG to Mounting Vehicle
Furthermore, this system is equipped with the function with which the driver can change the model and the
color of the vehicle CG located in the center of the bird's
eye view image to match with the real vehicle mounting
the system. As a result, although vehicles vary in size
and shape, this system is capable of displaying the scene
around the vehicle faithfully in accordance with the size
and the shape of the vehicle (Fig. 16). Furthermore, with
this function, the color of the vehicle CG on the image also
can be changed to provide a sense of reality to the driver.
5. Conclusion
Conclusion
We have developed "Multi Angle Vision™," which
comprehensively supplements the field of view of drivers
in the daytime and in the nighttime, using the "3-D virtual
projection/point of view conversion technology" and the
"technology for enhancing nighttime visibility using near
infrared LED lighting system." The Multi Angle Vision™
has been commercialized as an option to be installed at
car dealers (dealer option) for ALPHARD, VELLFIRE
and PRIUS of TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION since
May 2010.
We think that this system can provide safety to drivers in various driving scenes and can contribute greatly
to the safety in the car society. We would like to make
an effort to enhance safety precautions and assistance in
parking in addition to the supplement of the field of view
of drivers, in the future.
Reference:
1) SHIMIZU Seiya, et al, "System Giving Wraparound
View of Vehicles", FUJITSU, Vol.60, No.5, pp.496-501
(2009)
Profiles of External Writers
Seiya SHIMIZU
Entered FUJITSU LABORATORIES LTD. in 1989. Since then, has
engaged in R&D of computer graphics and image processing systems.
Currently works at ITS Research
Center.
Profiles of Writers
Susumu TANIGUCHI
Tadashi KIDENA
Hiroshi YAMADA
Entered the company in 2008. Since
then, has engaged in the development
of vehicle-mounted camera systems.
Currently in Engineering Dept. 4,
System Division, ITS Engineering
Group.
Entered the company in 1986. Since
then, has engaged in the development
of car multimedia products (CD/TV
combination products, AVN, etc).
Currently in Engineering Dept. 4,
System Division, ITS Engineering
Group.
Entered FUJITSU LABORATORIES
LTD. in 1988. Since then, has
engaged in R&D of advanced terminal
systems such as mobile terminals, invehicle visual systems. Since April
2009, has worked at FUJITSU TEN
LIMITED. Also works for FUJITSU
LABORATORIES LTD.
Masahiro YAMADA
Entered the company in 1990. Since
then, has engaged in the development
of sound control technology and
image recognition systems. Currently
in Engineering Dept. 4, System
Division, ITS Engineering Group.
FUJITSU TEN TECH. J. NO.36(2011)
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