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What are the main automotive applications for embedded vision products?

Embedded vision products in automotive applications can serve to enhance the driving experience by making us better and safer drivers through both driver and road monitoring.

Driver monitoring applications use computer vision to ensure the driver remains alert and awake while operating a vehicle. These systems can monitor head movement and body language for indications that the driver is drowsy and thus posing a threat to others on the road. These systems can also monitor in-car distractions such as texting, eating, etc. and provide a friendly reminder encouraging the driver to focus on the road.

In addition to monitoring activities occurring inside the vehicle, out of vehicle applications such as lane departure warning systems can use video with lane detection algorithms to recognize the lane markings and road edges and estimate the position of the car within the lane. The driver can then be warned in cases of unintentional lane departure. Solutions exist to read roadside warning signs and to alert the driver if they are not heeded, collision mitigation, blind spot detection, part & reverse assist, self-parking vehicles and event-data recording.

Eventually this technology will lead cars with self-driving capability with Google already testing prototypes. However many in the automotive industry believe that the goal of embedded vision in vehicles is not necessarily to eliminate the driving experience, just to make it safer.

What are the primary embedded vision products used in automotive?

The primary embedded vision products in the automotive market are camera modules. As mentioned earlier the number of suppliers to this industry is still relatively small. These vendors can either develop their analytics in-house or embed third party algorithms from video content analysis software developers, however in all cases the instructions for the algorithms are always directly from the OEMs.

Who are the main suppliers of embedded vision products in automotive?

The majority of automotive applications using embedded vision are safety related and most vehicle manufactures (i.e. BMW, Toyota, etc.) source their safety systems from Tier 1 suppliers to the industry such as Denso, Bosch, Continental & Magna There are a few companies dedicated to supplying embedded vision solutions to these Tier 1 suppliers at the moment including Mobileye & PLK Technologies.