Final PropVideo recording tool for a vehicle'

Final Proposal:
Video recording tool for a vehicle’s
infotainment and navigation system
Team Members:
Shengzhe Gao
Radhika Somayya
Xinye Ji
Kun Zhang
Yan Gong
Jianying Tang
Executive summary
This system, which is being developed for Bosch's automotive department, is
being developed to record videos during a vehicle’s driving test, without disturbing
the driver's attention. It is not a simple machine; but a system that combines a video
recorder, a computer processor, and a data storage device. The goal of this system is
to provide a safe and reliable error recording system, ensure all entertainment and
navigation functions operate successfully, and record any bugs that do occur in the
vehicle while testing. The system must properly work in various situations; such as
short and long drives. It needs to have enough storage capacity to save hours and
hours of video recording which can be accessed at a later time.
In this project, the design team will improve the original design that was
prepared by the past design team.
The possible solution that has been considered is to combine 4 video cameras,
and plug them into a central processing unit. The CPU will store all the video
recording into a temporary data store card. When an error occurs, the driver testing
the vehicle will press a single button, which will start the video recording from x
number of minutes prior to when the button was pressed. Driver can oversee the
operation of all four cameras while the video is being recorded.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary--------------------------------------------------1
Objectives or Design Specification------------------------------5
Conceptual Design Descriptions---------------------------------6
Proposed Design Solution-----------------------------------------9
Risk Analysis----------------------------------------------------------11
Project Management Plan-----------------------------------------12
Project 9 for ECE 480 Spring 2014 is sponsored by Robert Bosch LLC. It
requires the design group to build a video recording tool for a vehicle’s infotainment
and navigation system.
This project was originally assigned to a group in Fall 2013. The
specifications were met; however Bosch wants some improvements done on the tool
to make it more user-friendly.
The requirements we were given are as follows:
- Have the ability to connect four video cameras to the device and record the
- Add a better record and stop trigger. The previous group used a key pad;
however Bosch wants something smaller and simpler.
- Add a display approximately 6-7 inches wide with an HDMI port. This
display would show the screens of all four video cameras cascaded
together. This display would mainly be used to make sure the cameras are
aligned properly. It should have high enough video quality to read what is
written on the display as well. It should also show time stamp and GPS
position logging.
o The four cameras should be positioned to show:
 center stacked display
 instrument cluster
 front view of road
 right side view of road
- Start recording the video with the push of a button from (t-2) minutes,
where t is the time at which the button is pressed.
- Add a true DVR feature so that it is possible to live record and be able to
rewind a certain number of seconds. Previous group only recorded 30
second blocks.
- Notification on screen telling user when to change flash drive.
- A push button to save the video recording into long term memory (USB
flash drive).
The past group has a device with many different USB ports, an HDMI output,
and a micro SD card with lynx. Our customer at Bosch, Marty, said that we can use
this device and just improve it (to be more cost effective). Or we can completely
scratch what the previous group did.
To begin, we attempted to look for the right size display with an HDMI port.
After finding one with good reviews, we approved it with our customer and
subsequently placed an order for it. We also found a DC/DC step down converter in
order to connect the device to the car battery. The converter we selected, which steps
down from 12 V to 5 V, was also approved by our customer. With the above all set in
place, we placed an order.
Currently, we are in the process of finding a camera with quality higher than
720P, as well as finding a switch that would work to turn the recording on and off.
The switch would replace the key pad used by the previous design team.
Further, we are also in the process of figuring out an effective way of storing
all the video recordings in an efficient manner. The design needs to have sufficient
capacity to record and store simultaneously, which is proving to be difficult. One
option, suggested by the customer, is to use multiple flash drives. This option is being
considered while we continue to research other viable methods.
Objectives and Design Specification:
The recording system needs to be able to handle these specifications:
DVR: Being able to record the previous x minutes of video.
Integration of four video sources into one file.
GPS coordinates and time stamp label on video.
Quality of footage must be able to record details on the monitor of the
infotainment screen as well as the environment around the car.
As this is a continuation of an older project, it is advised that the team uses the
old microcomputer module, Odroid-XU.
The main objective is to improve on the framework already set by the previous
team. Areas that need improvement specifically include but are not limited to:
 Implementing true DVR.
 Improving the video quality.
 Allowing storage to be hot swappable so that the user will be able to transfer
files to a computer.
 Adding a more compact controls system, adding a monitor that will allow the
end user to adjust camera positioning on the fly.
 Integrating all of the hardware to be able to run off of one power source.
Ranking of Conceptual Design:
Design Aspect
of Low
Addition of Screen
USB Storage
Power Medium
(True High
While this is not the most important
detail, a proper user interface and
controls system does improve the user
Without a monitor to check camera
positioning, data collection may
become useless.
Multiple power supplies creates more
points of failure, as well as more of
hassle switching from car to car.
Having a consistent compact single
supply is important for usability.
Without true DVR, or proper lossless
storage, this whole project becomes
pointless as bugs cannot be recorded
without an effective system.
Conceptual Design Descriptions
In this project, our basic concept is to improve and modify the car camera tool
system that has been created by the previous team. The system had originally been
designed for having four video capturing cameras, each pointed in a different
direction. The system was also designed to set up a GPS for debugging error, a
keypad to start or stop recording images, USB storage stick that put all memory
together to import in computers, an Odroid chip that is running as computing unit
with power input at 5V/4 A, and a MicroSD slot.
The main goal of our design team is looking for ways that can optimize and
improve the system described above.
The first aspect is the optimization of the keyboard. The keyboard is not
necessary when all we need is a small and simple device with a few basic functions.
Instead of using a keyboard, our team is going to replace the board by an efficient and
user-friendly record and stop switch. That arrangement could be just two buttons, one
of them is used to ask car camera to record the images, and another one is to stop the
recording process. Having less buttons than a keyboard will make this system a bit
more user-friendly. This will also make the debugging process a little bit easier.
Another aspect of our design is to add a screen for monitoring the camera
views in the vehicle. This is an important requirement from Bosch, especially
considering that the past design team did not provide a display. The team must find a
display approximately 6-7 inches big with an HDMI port. By observing the screen,
the user will be able to know that the four cameras are working and pointed in the
correct direction. The display will also show the video file name, current recording
status, as well as how much of percentage of memory is remaining in terms of total
storage. Besides that, a small color HDMI port should be available for users to plug in
and display. In addition, the screen should include appropriate setup of adjustment for
four cameras, a setting menu for user to manipulate device, and a single video file that
can compile the four different video files into one. The video should be recorded in 4
different sections and merges on the same screen concurrently.
Moreover, it is team’s duty to research on a sustainable and reliable power
supply converter. Due to the instability and malfunction pertaining with the power
portion of the chip, the device cannot operate safely with just a 12V power supply.
Therefore, a DC buck step-down converter is required to output 5Volt /4 Ampere with
10 Watts. Regardless of the bundle of ports the odroid chip has, it is preferable to
have one single plug in port for power supply, and the 12 V car cigarette lighter plug
would be the most desirable source to power our entire device. Therefore, the team is
going to find a converter to step down input voltage from 12 V to 5V drawing 4 A as a
steady output to meet the Odriod chip requirement.
Lastly, in order to store all video recordings efficiently in a USB drive, the
team decided to add a true DVR feature that can always record the video in the
background. The display will also show how many minutes and seconds of the video
have been recorded until the user press the stop button. The DVR will have access to
the USB port and in turn, a USB flash drive. It should be able to convert all video files
into USB output. And then those files can be opened in a personal computer or laptop.
Despite the vibration and shaking that will occur in the car during the test drive, the
cameras must obtain a high enough resolution to clearly see and read street signs
while watching the video recordings.
The team is looking to develop the prototype described as following:
4 x Cameras 480P
Camera 1
Camera 2
Camera 3
Camera 4
USB connection
+ USB Hub
USB connection +
5V/4A DC
4-5 Inch screen
MicroSD slot
Proposed Design Solution
 FFMPEG: An open source Linux software that can screen capture as well as
record from other hardware (i.e. Webcam).
 VLC (Or some other webcam software): Any software that can access video
recording hardware and provide a live view. This is in order to be able to
position the cameras.
 Team Written Code: A combination of C++ and batch scripts to utilize the
Ideally, the system will boot up and bring up a live view of the four cameras
connected to the microcomputer. Additionally, a terminal will be called in the
background to run the DVR function, which will save the last n minutes of recording.
FFMPEG will not be recording from the video cameras directly. Rather, it will be
capturing the screen that the live view of the four cameras. This is less
computationally commanding and the microcomputer will be under less strain while
DVR Function:
FFMPEG, unfortunately, does not natively have a DVR function. Thusly, the
team will be using this method.
1. FFMPEG will be running continuously, recording one minute chunks of
a. There will be n total clips depending on how long the save video
must be.
b. The batch script will continuously overwrite the video clips labeled
1 through n.
2. When the appropriate switch is pressed, another batch script will run in a
different thread concatenating the video into an n minute clip.
Our project is based on the previous project, so initially, we have the ODROID
– XU, which has 1.6 GHz quad core CPU with 2 GB RAM, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 3.0
OTG, 4 USB 2.0, micro HDMI output, Micro SD port, with 5v and 4A power. This is
run on Linux system inside of the micro SD card. This is our control unit. As Bosch
request, we need to modify their work. As the part of the hardware, they require we
add a screen for the unit, so they can view the image and video from the display, but
also the GPS coordinates. The ODROID has a HDMI output, so it is easy for us to
add a screen.
The monitor that we choose is the Koolertron 7 inch HD TFT LCD display.
One nice thing about this display is it come with the 12v DC power supply with the
car outlet, and it does have a HDMI input no further modify needed. Currently the
power is driven by the wall outlet, they use a 12V to 110 converter and transfer back
to 5v to support the ODROID. One of the requirements is to drive all the devices from
the car outlet with 12V supply. The design that we will make is to check the power
supply of the display and maximum current that the power supply can reach.
ODROID require a 5V and 4A power supply. The car outlet is 12V with up to 10A
The step down convert is a good choice; the one that we chose is DROK SR
Waterproof DC Buck Converter 12V/24V to 5V 5A/25W Car Regulator Power
Supply. This power supply can support up to 5A and 25W that meets all the
requirements of ODROID and it is also waterproof. We will use this step down
convert to connect the DC power 12V and the ODROID to support the power. The
ODROID use a 5.5mm*2.1mm adapter. So the step down converter needs to connect
FAST Diagram
Program the code
Combine four videos
in one screen
Big screen
Four cameras record
videos from
different positions
high quality camera
High video
good processor
Display GPS
coordinates on
Record/store video
Record location of
Program the code
Compatability with
GPS integration
Program the code
One button replay
Enough space in
Can be read easily
Risk analysis
This system is a combination of several mature devices, such as cameras,
ODROID chip, and screen. However, there are still many risks. One of the biggest
risks we have is hardware/software compatibility.
According to the preliminary testing, several problems were detected. These
problems could become bigger and bigger if they are not taken care of in the early
stages of the project. Below is a risk analysis chart which shows how problematic the
risk could potentially be if not taken care of right away.
Risk level
Video Quality Improvement
Power supply
After testing, the camera itself
should be ok, the input quality
is good.
Adding the Screen is team's
main goal, but considering the
ODROID's capability, the
screen may overload the
processor. Other problem is
power supply. However,
further information still
The capability of ODROID is a
problem. Further testing
Many options exist; team can
choose the best one easily.
Software design
Control Button
Data store
Software challenge
ODROID is the main hardware problem for now, but further testing is needed.
Software design may become other problem. Each problem may cause whole project
to fail, team will focus on each and every risk to avoid failures.
Project Management Plan
Meet with the manager of Bosch every Thursday 3:00-4:00pm through WebEx.
Meet with Professor McGough every Thursday 4:00-5:00pm in Engineering library.
Gantt Chart
Ordered Parts
Koolertron® 7 1
inch 16:9 HD
SR 1
Waterproof DC
Buck Converter
Total Cost
Parts from previous team