[TMS] Sanyo: Monitor System Provides Bird's Eye View with Four Cameras

Oct 19, 2007
Naoshige Shimizu, Nikkei Electronics
Image displayed by Sanyo's automotive omni-directional monitor system
Image displayed by Sanyo's automotive omni-directional monitor system
[Click to enlarge image]

Sanyo Electric Co Ltd announced Oct 17, 2007, the development of an automotive omni-directional monitor system that can display a bird's eye view of the vehicle shot with four cameras.

The monitor system is intended for assisting drivers of large vehicles, such as truck, RV, etc to park or change the direction at an intersection.

The cameras are mounted on four positions, namely front, rear, left and right sides, of the vehicle. The distortion of images are corrected by an image processor and converted into bird's eye images before they are combined together. In order to provide a coherent view, the company reportedly developed an algorithm to adjust the misalignment of the joint lines when the images are integrated.

Sanyo also developed an automotive wireless camera system supporting the IEEE 802.11a/g wireless LAN communication standard. The camera system can transmit images with up to WVGA (720 x 480) resolution to an image processor at a transfer rate of 30 fps.

The company aims at employing this camera system in the omni-directional monitor system in the future. With the adoption of the high-speed JPEG codec, the wireless camera system enables a low-delay transmission with a delay of 50ms or shorter.

To begin with, the company expects to use the camera system for the wireless transmission of images supplied from a rear camera for use in parking assistance, as well as images to be displayed on the screen installed for the rear seat.

Development of camera with enhanced night visibility

In addition, Sanyo developed an automotive high-sensitivity camera that can enhance the visibility at night. The high-sensitivity camera employs a 0.27-Mpixel CCD sensor to achieve the minimum illumination of 0.2lx, which is eight times that of the existing product.

The most distinctive feature of this camera is the elimination of filter otherwise provided to filter out light in the near infrared region. In general, the sensitivity increases if a camera does not use a filter for blocking light in the near infrared region because the light in the visible and near infrared regions can be taken into the camera.

However, the elimination of the film may adversely affect the color representation due to excessive light intensity in daylight or certain other conditions. Sanyo reportedly developed a new DSP for image correction to provide a proper color representation even in an excessively bright environment.

In addition to Sanyo's latest product, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd each developed automotive monitor systems that can provide a bird's eye view shot with four cameras mounted on the vehicle. Meanwhile, Sanyo will exhibit the latest system at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show 2007.