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As a follow-up to my active safety blog, I thought that it made sense to take a closer look at the cameras that make up such a vital part of these active safety systems. A number of different companies engineer and manufacture cameras within the extremely advanced industry of active safety. Our engineers partner with major global automotive suppliers to assist them in designing a product that completely meets their strict standards.
The safety functions of active safety cameras are endless – they include lane departure warnings, collision warnings, active cruise control, emergency braking, headlight control, traffic sign recognition, etc. Not only are the cameras themselves becoming more technologically advanced, but the camera suppliers are partnering with companies that are able to process the incoming images with incredibly innovative algorithms. As the algorithms become more complex, they are able to interpret images that previously would have been difficult to understand.
As active safety cameras become more advanced, they are able to offer a one box solution for auto manufacturers. When an active safety camera is mounted behind the windshield, it is able to provide a safety solution that can replace multiple other boxes that are currently placed around the vehicle. There is another major advantage to windshield placement, it provides the ideal viewing perspective for a camera and it’s also easier to service the camera because of the accessibility.
Currently many vehicles have lasers, radar, and cameras. Cameras have the ability to identify objects surrounding the car better than radar. Initially it was challenging for cameras to see objects when there were changes in light conditions, fog, and precipitation, but as technology has improved these problems have been resolved.
Forward facing active safety cameras provide extremely important functions. It’s incredibly important for the camera to stay operational throughout a vehicle’s lifetime. Engineers have created cameras that connect to the car’s HVAC system so that moisture does not collect in the camera’s housings. The camera housing not only contains the camera, but also the microprocessors that process the incoming images. These microprocessors create a significant amount of heat – special heat-sinks have been engineered for these parts so that the heat from the microprocessor does not impede the camera’s functionality.
These improvements in technology may seem like they are only available on luxury cars or as expensive upgrades, but that is not the case anymore. Laws and regulations around the globe are quickly changing the automotive industry. In addition to this, the cost of the technology is decreasing rapidly enough where many of these features are now available on mainstream vehicles. Active safety systems, and more importantly active safety cameras, are able to significantly reduce traffic fatalities. More than 53% of traffic fatalities result from roadway departures – the technology that is offered by active safety cameras can eliminate these types of car accidents.
Dynacast will continue to partner with auto suppliers around the globe in order to help engineer the most advanced active safety systems available – technology that is truly changing the industry and helping save lives around the world.