TRW’s portfolio of forward-looking camera options can be scaled to the needs of automakers – from Lane Keeping Assist / Lane Guidance systems offering lane and road edge detection, to functions such as object– and traffic sign recognition and pedestrian protection.
The packaging includes an integrated processor and imager in a size small enough to fit in a rear view mirror mount. Additional sensors can be integrated into the camera to enable functions such as automatic rain sensing wipers and automatic HVAC control for windshield defogging in a single package, eliminating the need for multiple independent sensors.
Cameras can also be oriented for side vision for blind spot and lane change assist systems and rear-facing for back-over and rear object proximity warnings and park assist systems.
TRW currently supplies production cameras for the Lane Keeping Assist system launched on the Lancia Delta in 2008. In this system the video camera detects when the vehicle has drifted to the edge of the lane markings and the electric steering provides the driver with haptic feedback through the steering wheel and gentle guidance toward the center of the lane.
Forward collision warning is another important safety advancement that can be based on camera technology. TRW is developing a system using a forward-looking monocular camera with object recognition capability. This is linked to a warning device which may give visual, audible or other feedback to the driver that a potential collision is imminent, such as a brake pulse or jerk to indicate to the driver the need to brake the vehicle. TRW will develop the warning according to the vehicle manufacturers’ preference.
Camera technology is also an integral part of highly advanced safety systems such as automatic emergency braking (AEB). Working in concert with long or mid-range radar, the camera and radar sensors independently gather data that is compared every 40 milliseconds in what is called data fusion. Both sensors need to independently verify the criticality of a foreseeable crash and confirm that AEB should be deployed.