Automated transportation and satellite cameras go hand in hand. Besides enhancing the driving experience, automotive cameras go a long way in promoting road safety. The following article looks at the benefits of satellite cameras and why they are the future.
The automotive camera industry isn’t what it used to be. The photo quality has gone from grainy, low-resolution pictures to clear images observable from every angle. Automotive supplier Continental recently unveiled its 360-degree multi-camera technology. This system is one of a kind. Although Nissan’s Around View Monitor also has a 360-degree view, Continental’s satellite cameras are free of blind spots and can rotate around the vehicle as required.
The car satellite technology has four satellite cameras that provide an extensive view of the road for maximum visibility. Thanks to the German manufacturer, space technology features that were only available separately now come as a package. After capturing high-precision images, the satellite cameras transmit the data to a central unit for processing. Moreover, the technology is modular and scalable to make driving comfortable and safer.
Award-Winning Satellite Technology
Continental clinched a CES 2020 Innovation prize for its “transparent hood” feature. The CES innovation program is a yearly competition targeting consumer products with exceptional engineering designs. The “transparent hood” innovation seeks to advance “human vision” technologies that use satellite camera displays to improve the driving experience. These “human vision” systems go hand in hand with “computer vision”.
Per the company’s Innovation and ADAS boss Sascha Semmler, computer vision combines all satellite camera assistance technologies beyond display that provide warnings like braking, steering, and acceleration. An example of computer vision satellite subsystems is intelligent front cameras that identify lights, traffic signs, and obstacles. That way, the driver receives a signal when the vehicle is leaving its lane.
Satellite cameras also reduce accidents by doubling as emergency brake assists. Assuming the system detects a barrier, the car stops immediately to avert a collision. According to Semmler, future versions of the technology will include more satellite cameras to sense obstacles when reversing. Continental first implemented the function in 2018 in a European SUV. The system has a surround-view feature to show what is under the car, guiding you through potholes and speed bumps.
Moreover, the feature is a life-saver when off-roading. By displaying the hood and engine compartment as transparent, the driver can steer through rocky terrain easily. You can view the area around the car using the mini cameras fitted on most vehicles’ radiator grills and side mirrors. Even so, these satellite cameras don’t show the space below your car.
Continental incorporates sensor data into its Image Processing Algorithm, consolidating the surrounding view with the image below the car. The satellite cameras also support automated parking. All the driver needs to do is press a button, step out of the vehicle, and watch the car maneuver into and out of the narrowest parking spots.
Cameras Instead of Rear-View Mirrors
It’s not uncommon to find 1.3-megapixel satellite cameras on modern vehicles. Some new-generation satellite cameras even come with 2.5 megapixels and unmatched night vision. Though these devices are helpful driving aids, that’s not there is to aerospace cameras. Continental is working on a future version of satellite cameras with eight megapixels.
Don’t be surprised when these high-resolution satellite cameras replace conventional rear-view mirrors. Besides their pin-sharp picture quality, these satellite cameras can spot fast-moving vehicles approaching from behind regardless of the light conditions. By doing so, the satellite cameras warn the driver of potential danger and prevent the car from switching lanes as planned.
Another selling point of these satellite cameras is their Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit, a multifunctional processing platform in the highly automated driving field. The ADCU uses alerts from the car’s monitoring sensors to determine safe routes and coordinate actuators like brakes and suspension.
Realizing Vision Zero
These satellite cameras aim at minimizing road accidents in line with Continental’s Vision Zero initiative. By promoting active safety technologies, the automotive parts manufacturer hopes to hit the EU’s target of halving traffic fatalities by 2030. But Continental is not alone on this one. The company is also a significant player in Global NCAP’s “Stop the Crash” initiative.
The campaign seeks to create awareness on how tires influence safety systems, paying attention to tread depth and tire pressure. Safety systems like AEB and ESC aren’t enough to stop crashes. Continental offers both technologies while emphasizing the importance of tire condition, giving them an upper hand over their competitors.
Conclusion | Market Trends for Automotive Satellite Cameras
Per a recent Allied Market Research release, the automotive camera industry yielded $7.04 billion last year and is expected to generate $16.22 billion come 2028, recording an 11.9% CAGR between 2021 and 2028. There are several reasons for the anticipated growth. The first one is the rising interest in autonomous cars. The government might also mandate the installation of satellite cameras in cars. Even without government involvement, the rising cases of traffic accidents may force drivers to install satellite cameras for road safety. Whether you use them on your vehicle or for Earth observation at low Earth orbit, tell us how satellite cameras have improved your life in the comments.