Hella is developing electronic and light-based systems – sensor fusion increases the benefit for car drivers
Article of 22.08.2007
Lippstadt, August 2007. Three starts of production for different driver assistance systems have now been realized by Hella: lane change assistant, rear view camera and the distance-regulation system ACC. Further systems are in series development. Overall, Hella has a powerful technology portfolio which is being developed systematically. Here, special emphasis is placed on camera sensor technology.
The continuous development of driver assistance systems is accompanied by the European Union’s eSafety road safety campaign, the aim of which is to halve the number of road fatalities by 2010.
Active driver assistance systems from Hella are based on camera and ultrasound sensor technology, as well as infrared time-of-flight measurement (lidar = light detection and ranging) and 24 GHz radar.
The aim of Hella research and development is to further increase customer benefit and therefore road safety in the future, by combining sensors and functionalities. Thus, through the combination of the ACC system, the front camera and 24 GHz radar sensor technology, a pre-crash system can be realized. If the system detects a target with a high probability of collision, it puts the passive safety systems on stand-by early (restraint systems, seat position, improved deployment time of the airbag, sun roof is closed, etc.). If impact is unavoidable, it initiates the automatic emergency brake and therefore reduces the impact speed and the severity of the accident.
The following driver assistance systems are being developed at Hella:
Adaptive cut-off line
The system always adjusts the range of intelligent AFS headlamps such that optimum visibility which therefore extends as far as possible is provided for the driver. This is achieved by adapting the range of the headlamps to motor vehicles driving in front or approaching.
This camera-based driver assistance system detects eyelid blinks by means of a camera frontally placed in the steering-wheel area. If the eyelid blink becomes slower, the system notes this. A warning signal sounds if the eye stays closed for longer than 1.5 seconds during a journey. Moreover, the biometric function of facial recognition can be realized. This system is currently in the pre-development stage.
This good-value distance measurement system on the basis of a 24 GHz radar sensor determines the relative speed and the distance to the vehicle driving in front, and informs the driver as soon as the distance to the vehicle driving in front becomes critical. This allows driving and distance behavior to be influenced, the risk of accidents due to too low a safety distance reduces.
Glare-free high beam
Glare-free high beam follows the premise that the car driver travels almost constantly with high beam switched on. If road-users who are in danger of being dazzled appear in the road space, those portions of the high-beam light distribution that could cause a problem to others are automatically faded out.
Lane Departure Warning
With the aid of a front camera, inadvertent lane departure is detected, and the driver is accordingly warned optically, acoustically or haptically. This means that side collisions can be avoided.
On the basis of an intelligent AFS light distribution, people and points of danger are specifically illuminated. The driver not only detects them considerably earlier, but also is consciously aware of them and can adapt his or her driving behavior accordingly in time.
The electronic parking assistant allows the driver to park comfortably and safely in tight longitudinal parking spaces. When driving past, an ultrasound sensor measures the space. If the space is large enough, the parking procedure can be started. The driver operates only the accelerator and the brake pedal. The necessary turning of the steering wheel takes place automatically.
This system, which consists of four cameras, each with an aperture angle of 180 degrees, at the front, at the rear and on both side mirrors, makes it possible to see a bird’s eye view of the vehicle on the display intended for this purpose, and therefore allows maneuvering without danger.
With the aid of a front camera, traffic signs are detected and identified. Here too, the driver can be warned accordingly, and combination with the distance-regulation system ACC is possible. This increases driving comfort and safety, as accidents due to inappropriate speed can be avoided.
The following systems are already on the market:
ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control)
This system from Hella, which works on the basis of infrared sensor technology (lidar), determines the relative speed and the distance to the vehicle driving in front, and regulates speed automatically. This reduces stress, increases driving comfort and reduces the danger of rear-end collisions.
Lane change assistant
With the lane change assistant, the 24 GHz radar sensor technology detects other road-users to the rear and side area (blind spot) of one’s own vehicle. It supports the driver through permanent monitoring of the adjacent lanes and warns the driver during passing and lane-change procedures, if a vehicle is detected in the adjacent lane.
Rear view camera
The system consists of a camera with an integrated CMOS image sensor. Through the aperture angle of 130Â°, the entire area behind the vehicle is seen. When engaging reverse gear, a color image adapted to external light influences is shown on the display for the driver. This increases safety when backing up.