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Utilizing Sophisticated Automotive Imaging & Image Processing Technology for More Effective ADAS

Utilizing Sophisticated Automotive Imaging & Image Processing Technology for More Effective ADAS

Automated/assisted driving technology is predicted to represent a $25 billion dollar market by 2020, according to a report recently published by Reuters. That is more than 4 times what it is worth today. Europe’s New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) is increasingly focussing on the value of automated safety mechanisms - with more stringent test procedures being put in over the next few years to address this and car assessment programmes used throughout the rest of the world expected to rapidly follow suit.

With the advent of next generation automotive image sensors, image-recognition technology is now destined to become an integral part of the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) being built into each modern vehicle - thereby helping protect drivers, passengers and pedestrians from harm. Functions such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are bringing us ever closer towards the point where vehicle models will have a high degree of autonomy. This means that, as well as making the driver aware of potential hazards, the vehicle’s ADAS will also be able to take direct action under certain critical circumstances. Processing the large quantity of imaging data involved is a clearly going to be challenge however.

In order for car manufacturers to implement fully effective, automotive-optimised image-recognition systems, they are currently putting exacting demands upon their semiconductor suppliers. Dedicated processor devices will be required that satisfy a number of key criteria. These are:

  • Delivering the processing performance that will allow the nature of particular objects on the road ahead to be rapidly determined
  • Ability to deal with numerous applications concurrently in real-time - as each captured frame may contain information that needs to be utilised by multiple applications (leading to simultaneous execution being called for) or multiple cameras might feed data into one specific sub-system
  • Hitting the price points necessary to permit them to be used in cost sensitive automobile designs  
  • Support low power operation - since image-recognition systems have not normally been developed for automotive deployment and therefore limited power budget has not previously been a major concern

Toshiba has made significant steps in image-recognition processing technology in recent times and this has led to the introduction of a family of streamlined, power-efficient processors (based on scalable architecture). These are highly suited to tackling the critical ADAS functions now emerging.

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Click here to learn more about implementing ADAS image recognition systems

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