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Improved Vision Processors, Sensors Enable Proliferation of New and Enhanced ADAS Functions

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This article was originally published at John Day's Automotive Electronics News. It is reprinted here with the permission of JHDay Communications.

Thanks to the emergence of increasingly capable and cost-effective processors, image sensors, memories and other semiconductor devices, along with robust algorithms, it's now practical to incorporate computer vision into a wide range of embedded systems, enabling those systems to analyze their environments via video and still image inputs. Automotive ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) designs are among the early success stories in the burgeoning embedded vision era, and their usage is rapidly expanding beyond high-end vehicles into high-volume mainstream implementations, and into a diversity of specific ADAS applications.

By Brian Dipert
Editor-in-Chief
Embedded Vision Alliance

Tim Droz
Vice President and General Manager, SoftKinetic North America
SoftKinetic

Stéphane Francois
Program Manager
CogniVue

and Markus Willems
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Processor Solutions
Synopsys

ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) implementations are one key example of the exponential increase in both the overall amount and the functional capability of electronics hardware and associated software in automobiles, trends which forecasted to continue (if not accelerate) into the foreseeable future. Image sensor-based ADAS applications are becoming increasingly common, both standalone and as a supplement to other sensing technologies such as radar, LIDAR, infrared, and ultrasound. From its humble origins as a passive rear-view camera, visually alerting a driver to pedestrians and other objects behind the vehicle, vision-based ADAS has become more active (i.e. applying the brakes as necessary to prevent collisions), has extended to cameras mounted on other areas of the outside of a vehicle (for front collision avoidance purposes, for example), and has even expanded to encompass the vehicle interior (sensing driver...