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Wide-angle camera technology for automotive applications: a review

Wide-angle camera technology for automotive applications: a review

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The development of electronic vision systems for the automotive market is a strongly growing field, driven in particular by customer demand to increase the safety of vehicles both for drivers and for other road users, including vulnerable road users (VRUs), such as pedestrians. Customer demand is matched by legislative developments in a number of key automotive markets; for example Europe, Japan and the US are in the process of introducing legislation to aid in the prevention of fatalities to VRUs, with emphasis on the use of vision systems.The authors discuss some of the factors that motivate the use of wide-angle and fish-eye camera technologies in vehicles. The authors describe the benefits of using wide-angle lens camera systems to display areas of a vehicle's surroundings that the driver would, otherwise, be unaware of (i.e. a vehicle's blind-zones). However, although wide-angle optics provide greater fields of view, they also introduce undesirable effects, such as radial distortion, tangential distortion and uneven illumination.These distortions have the potential to make objects difficult for the vehicle driver to recognise and, thus, potentially have a greater risk of accident. The authors describe some of the methods that can be employed to remove these unwanted effects, and digitally convert the distorted image to the ideal and intuitive rectilinear pin-hole model.

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