Surround view system detects pedestrians, bicyclists in blind spot

October 10, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
A terrible classic among accident scenarios are turn accidents where large vehicles - trucks or buses - ignore pedestrians or bicyclists because they are in the blind spot. In many cases, such accidents are fatal, despite many efforts to design and roll out radar or ultrasound based "turn assistant systems". Now Continental has introduced a system that promises to be able to identify persons and bicyclist well enough. The system utilizes multiple cameras and smart software.

Automotive supplier Continental had an obvious idea: Why not utilize the technology already in use for some parking assistance system for a safety application: Multiple cameras around the vehicle observe the environment of the vehicle, stitch the images together, transform it into a top-view perspective and - voilá - ready is the 360° surround monitoring system. As an additional feature, the system can identify pedestrians and bicyclists. Experts affirm that the algorithms involved do not even require very high computing performance.

Continental introduced its ProViu ASL360 camera system at the Busworld trade fair in Kortrijk (Netherlands); the system will be offered to OEMs as well as to aftermarket customers. "The operational life of urban and overland buses frequently exceeds a decade," said Michael Ruf, general manager of Continental's Commercial Vehicles and Aftermarket business. "For this reason, it is important to offer such a system not only to OEMS".

In contrast to existing camera systems used in buses which only monitor door areas and the area behind the vehicle, the ProViu ASL360 combines all single images to one and displays it at the dashboard. The cameras are equipped with wide-angle optics and are located at the sides, the front and the tail of the vehicle. The system suits buses, in particular school buses, but also trucks and off-road vehicles. It is not only a safety feature, but since it also indicates obstacles and other vehicles it also supports the driver during back-ups and marshalling manoeuvres. Since it reduces the risk of an accident, operators can expect lower downtimes and lower cost of ownership - an aspect that could help to increase the acceptance for such systems.