Enhanced ADAS sensing technologies to improve car safety

16th January 2019
Lanna Cooper

HARMAN has announced a newly enhanced suite of sensing technologies, helping automakers equip vehicles with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that allow drivers to keep an eye on the big picture at all times. From Augmented Surround View featuring multiple cameras, to the driver monitoring system and control units that manage data, HARMAN is working with key technology suppliers to create an all-encompassing suite of sensing solution to help automakers bring in a new era of connected safety.

Surround view sensor intelligence
HARMAN is helping automakers fine tune the connected and semi-autonomous cars of today and tomorrow, all while creating the building blocks for the autonomous mobility of the future. Foundational to this is a suite of sensor technologies so cars have a 360° view enabling a rich set of ADAS applications and features. 

HARMAN’s next level sensor intelligence provides the ability to monitor, record and asses the vehicle surroundings, merging data across sensors and cloud, thus creating a safer driving experience. The HARMAN Augmented Reality platform is used to visualise ADAS related information to the users in a new way, helping to create the necessary trust in ADAS technology.

Some of the featured technologies include:

  • Camera monitoring system: Capable of augmenting, or even replacing physical mirrors, HARMAN’s Camera Monitoring System features a fusion of three rear-facing cameras and corner radar. The right and left sensors, coupled with a long-range rear camera (typically located right above a vehicle’s license plate) look behind the vehicle to facilitate safety technologies, including blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, and rear collision warning. Short range corner radar sensors round out the complete 360° view package.
  • Forward facing camera: HARMAN’s Forward Facing Camera - which would typically be placed near the top centre of a vehicle’s windshield - is a key element for environment sensing and enabling advanced perception algorithms for features such as lane, object and sign detection. Sensor fusion managed within HARMAN’s own module allows for integration with long range radar to also detect vehicles ahead and maintain a safe distance while in traffic.

Cabin monitoring system
Creating conditional autonomous cars, often referred to as Level 3 autonomous cars, is the next logical step in future mobility progression. These have the ability to manage most aspects of driving by themselves, but only if certain conditions are met and if not, they would require the human to take over. The biggest challenge with these vehicles is managing the hand-over: the situation where the car must transfer control back to the driver once limitations are met.

In order to ensure this happens seamlessly, HARMAN has developed an advanced Cabin Monitoring System which uses monitoring sensors to capture the most important first-order biometric features of a driver, such as eye gaze, head position, and pupil diameter among others.

The system can also analyse the auditory content and heart or breathing rates of occupants using proprietary and patented algorithms to provide second-order biometric signals such as emotional activity and cognitive load. While capable of working in lower levels of autonomy, this solution will be critical to the success of semi-autonomous vehicles in the future.

In preparation of higher levels of autonomy, HARMAN has partnered with Innoviz Technologies to bring LiDAR technology to more automakers. These long range, solid state solutions are compact and capable to help autonomous cars 'see' where they’re going as well as objects ahead much more accurately.

HARMAN’s sensor fusion technology will also allow LiDAR to work with Forward Facing Cameras to enable more vehicle safety use cases. This is yet another example of HARMAN’s long-standing commitment to an open and broad ecosystem of partners and innovators to realise bigger picture mobility goals.

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