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Continental is developing a stereo camera system to automatically detect pedestrians ahead of time and alert the drivers. This will help minimize the number of severe injuries and fatalities involved people being hit by automobiles. According to Continental, in Germany, almost half of all accidents that cause injury or death involve people walking on the streets.
The stereo camera system uses two high-resolution cameras operating in stereo to detect pedestrians the driver might have missed. The stereo camera not only detects pedestrians, but also can determine the distance and height of the pedestrians as well. If the system detects a pedestrian in front of the car, it automatically brakes the car to an immediate stop or chooses another course of action such as steering the car to the right or left side to evade the pedestrian.
“In the future, the stereo camera will even be able to detect children, who are small pedestrians, cyclists, and wheelchair users crossing the road. We are, in fact, realizing a comprehensive obstacle recognition system, the like of which has never before been possible”, said Wilfried Mehr, Head of Business Development for advanced driver assistance systems.
Of course how effective the Continental’s stereo camera system really depends on the amount of sensors and how well the program can assess the incoming data. Pretty much, the Continental’s stereo camera system needs to have sensors that can detect the surrounding traffic as well. If evading the pedestrian puts your life risk, because the car chooses to steer to the left or right to the oncoming traffic, it may have you think twice to have such a system in your car.
So there is still much work on the stereo camera system. We may see the Continental’s stereo camera system in production sometime by next year.