The advanced driver assistance system developed by BMW (http://www.bmw.com/) and Continental (http://www.conti-online.com/) for the BMW 7 Series includes three driver assistance functions – Speed Limit Information (SLI), High Beam Assist (HBA), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – controlled by a CMOS camera developed by Continental. The camera is powered by a Mobileye (http://www.mobileye.com/) EyeQ1 system-on-chip.
The SLI application, among the first of its kind in a production vehicle, “reads” road signs to keep the driver informed about the current speed limit and any impending speed restrictions. The system displays the current speed limit in the instrument cluster and the optional Head-Up Display.
The camera scans the field of view for incoming headlamps and taillights and the system automatically switches between low and high beams as appropriate to make certain that high beams do not blind other road users. The feature helps ensure that high beams are used more often while also allowing the driver to concentrate more on the task of driving.
The LDW feature is based on technology launched in March 2007 in the BMW 5 Series, but has been enhanced with additional sensing functionalities such as road edge detection.
"What is special about the BMW solution is that it runs the three functions SLI, HBA and LDW, all using the same camera and microprocessor resources," said Itay Gat, Mobileye series production vice president. "The technical challenge is very high compared to a standalone system because the requirements from the camera control are conflicting: the combined system must run at a higher frame rate than a standalone system and must share images among the different customer functions.
“The combined system has the advantage of reducing the overall system cost and saving windshield space,” Gat noted. “Rather than populating the windshield area with multiple sensing
systems, the integrative approach allows a single sensor system to perform all the functions and hence reduce space and cost."
Gat added that LDW will assist in reducing vehicle departure from the road, while the intelligent High Beam Assist will make sure that visibility of the road will be optimal under all conditions.