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Proceedings Paper

High dynamic range vision sensor for automotive applications
Author(s): Eric Grenet; Steve Gyger; Pascal Heim; Friedrich Heitger; Francois Kaess; Pascal Nussbaum; Pierre-Francois Ruedi
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Paper Abstract

A 128 x 128 pixels, 120 dB vision sensor extracting at the pixel level the contrast magnitude and direction of local image features is used to implement a lane tracking system. The contrast representation (relative change of illumination) delivered by the sensor is independent of the illumination level. Together with the high dynamic range of the sensor, it ensures a very stable image feature representation even with high spatial and temporal inhomogeneities of the illumination. Dispatching off chip image feature is done according to the contrast magnitude, prioritizing features with high contrast magnitude. This allows to reduce drastically the amount of data transmitted out of the chip, hence the processing power required for subsequent processing stages. To compensate for the low fill factor (9%) of the sensor, micro-lenses have been deposited which increase the sensitivity by a factor of 5, corresponding to an equivalent of 2000 ASA. An algorithm exploiting the contrast representation output by the vision sensor has been developed to estimate the position of a vehicle relative to the road markings. The algorithm first detects the road markings based on the contrast direction map. Then, it performs quadratic fits on selected kernel of 3 by 3 pixels to achieve sub-pixel accuracy on the estimation of the lane marking positions. The resulting precision on the estimation of the vehicle lateral position is 1 cm. The algorithm performs efficiently under a wide variety of environmental conditions, including night and rainy conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5663, Photonics in the Automobile, (16 February 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.610256
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Grenet, CSEM S.A. (Switzerland)
Steve Gyger, CSEM S.A. (Switzerland)
Pascal Heim, CSEM S.A. (Switzerland)
Friedrich Heitger, Arrayon S.A. (Switzerland)
Francois Kaess, CSEM S.A. (Switzerland)
Pascal Nussbaum, CSEM S.A. (Switzerland)
Pierre-Francois Ruedi, CSEM S.A. (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5663:
Photonics in the Automobile
Thomas P. Pearsall, Editor(s)

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