In the first part of this blog series, The Safety Assistant: How electronics technology will help drivers keep passengers safe, Part 1, I have introduced the importance of electronics safety systems in modern cars, by citing different solutions by different manufacturers.
This part is focused on two of the following mentioned systems:
Let’s see in more detail how these two systems work:
“Subaru's EyeSight, not surprisingly, uses two black and white cameras that work like your eyes to triangulate the speed and distance of the vehicle in front of you. They're mounted at the top of the windshield, and they scan every 0.1 seconds, looking for contrast with the background and vertical surfaces. The software is programmed to recognize several types of images, like the rear ends of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
Volvo uses lidar (which is not related to the lion-tiger mashup we all know as a liger) in its City Safety system. Lidar is laser radar, and it sends out a signal that pings off objects in front of it to determine distance and speed. Since lidar works best at short range, Volvo also has a camera mounted in the windshield and radar in the bumper that work together at high speeds as part of its collision warning system with full braking capability. The radar can see several hundred yards in front of the car, but it can't tell what it's seeing. The camera picks up on what the radar is seeing and can identify the object as a problem or something to ignore.” (Source: HOW STUFF WORKS-AUTO)
The importance of such kinds of safety setups inside a modern car has been underlined at CES in Las Vegas, held in January 2017 (see Figure 1):
The effect of connected cars on drives and passenger safety (Study “Connected Car Effect 2025” Picture: Bosch)
The contributions from the electronics technology is easy to see, ranging from RADAR to cameras integrated into the electronics system of the car, which is making automobiles smarter and more importantly, safer. (see Figure 2):
An interesting video from CES regarding the contribution of electronics systems to the safety of passengers in a car. (Source: CES)
An example of a microcontroller able to manage the data from a RADAR system for automotive applications is reported in Figure 3:
A functional block diagram of a microprocessor for automotive applications “enabling automotive safety analytics systems to process digital information from sources like digital camera sensors, lasers, radar and other sensors to perform tasks such as forward-facing warning systems, drowsiness sensors or intelligent parking assistance. The processed information can be displayed on screens or announced via acoustical warning signals.” (Source: Texas Instruments)
What do you think about the effectiveness of the safety systems for the overall safety of the passengers of the new smart cars?