EP1339561B1 - System for monitoring the surrounding area of a vehicle - Google Patents

System for monitoring the surrounding area of a vehicle Download PDF

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Publication number
EP1339561B1
EP1339561B1 EP01998458A EP01998458A EP1339561B1 EP 1339561 B1 EP1339561 B1 EP 1339561B1 EP 01998458 A EP01998458 A EP 01998458A EP 01998458 A EP01998458 A EP 01998458A EP 1339561 B1 EP1339561 B1 EP 1339561B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
sensors
vehicle
characterized
arrangement according
preceding
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
EP01998458A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP1339561A1 (en
Inventor
Holger Janssen
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Robert Bosch GmbH
Original Assignee
Robert Bosch GmbH
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to DE10059313A priority Critical patent/DE10059313A1/en
Priority to DE10059313 priority
Application filed by Robert Bosch GmbH filed Critical Robert Bosch GmbH
Priority to PCT/DE2001/003931 priority patent/WO2002043982A1/en
Publication of EP1339561A1 publication Critical patent/EP1339561A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP1339561B1 publication Critical patent/EP1339561B1/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/16Anti-collision systems
    • G08G1/167Driving aids for lane monitoring, lane changing, e.g. blind spot detection
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/16Anti-collision systems
    • G08G1/166Anti-collision systems for active traffic, e.g. moving vehicles, pedestrians, bikes

Description

  • The invention relates to an arrangement for monitoring the environment of a vehicle with sensors for detecting properties of the environment and means for processing the detected information.
  • State of the art
  • Many systems are known for monitoring the environment of a vehicle. Such systems serve, for example, the realization of accident prevention ("precrash"), automatic cruise control ("Automatic Cruise Control" (ACC)) or the observation of the blind spot with respect to the field of vision of the driver. Systems are used which use different sensors. For example, radar sensors, lidar sensors, ultrasonic sensors and video sensors are known. For example, radar sensors are used to determine the exact location of an object that is in the vicinity of the vehicle. A well-known procedure for this orientation is the triangulation. When using the various sensors, however, it should be noted that they have different detection ranges because of the underlying physical processes. Therefore, it is often useful to combine the different sensors. Overall, complex systems arise because the different sensor measurement data must be combined.
  • It should also be noted that most systems are unable to classify objects that are in the vehicle environment. A radar sensor is generally unable to distinguish between a living object, such as a pedestrian, and an object. Furthermore, radar sensors and ultrasonic sensors in the immediate vehicle environment have the disadvantage that they can detect only a small area of the environment due to their small opening angle. So if you want to capture the entire vehicle environment with such sensors, so a large number of sensors is required.
  • The Japanese Patent Application JP 2000 128031 discloses a 360 ° surround sensor in a motor vehicle having a hyperbolic mirror and a camera. From the US 5,949,331 An arrangement is known for vehicles with image recording devices and a display for displaying a synthesized image of the image recording devices.
  • Advantages of the invention
  • The invention is based on the generic arrangement claimed in claim 1 in that the sensors are optical sensors, that at least two sensors are provided, that the sensors operate in the wide-angle range and that the means for processing the acquired information output spatial information. Optical sensors have the advantage over the other sensors mentioned that the possibility exists to classify objects in the vehicle environment. For example, it is possible to distinguish between an object and a living object. Due to the fact that at least two sensors are provided, a spatial detection of the vehicle environment is made possible. The two optical sensors act as a stereo camera pair. Due to the detection of a wide-angle range of the sensors, wherein the sensors can in principle have different properties, a large part of the vehicle environment can be detected. Due to the fact that the means for processing the acquired information output spatial information, a person, for example the driver of the vehicle, can be informed in detail about the characteristics of the vehicle environment. The processing in the means for processing takes place by means of algorithms of digital image processing and with other algorithms for evaluating the sensors. Overall, a saving of costs is achieved on the basis of the invention, since it is possible to dispense with a large number of individual sensors for satisfactory detection of the surroundings. In addition to saving a large number of individual sensors, system complexity can also be reduced. This is because no networking of a large number of sensors is required.
  • At least one of the sensors preferably has a fisheye optic. Fisheye optics are capable of detecting a large solid angle, which is approximately in the range of 220 °. Thus, a large part of the environment of the motor vehicle can be detected. When using several sensors, it is possible to output spatial information about the entire vehicle environment.
  • It may also be advantageous that at least one of the sensors has an optical system for detecting a viewing angle of 360 °, in particular a parabolic or paraboloid mirror optical system.
  • It is particularly advantageous that further sensors are provided for detecting further characteristics of the environment, wherein the information corresponding to the properties can be supplied to the means for processing the acquired information. The arrangement according to the invention can therefore process the information from additional information sources. A wide variety of sensors come into consideration, such as radar or ultrasonic sensors. It is also conceivable that information is provided which does not affect the vehicle environment. For example, steering angle sensors, yaw rate sensors, monitoring of the vehicle locks and vibration sensors can be considered as further sources of information for the arrangement according to the invention.
  • It is particularly advantageous if further optical sensors are provided. As a result, the detection of the vehicle environment can be improved. For example, blind spots can be avoided.
  • It is also advantageous if the means for processing the acquired information have a controller. The controller is capable of all information of the sources of information involved, to process and to issue corresponding spatial information. The controller uses algorithms of digital image processing and other algorithms for evaluating the sensors.
  • Preferably, the means for processing the acquired information outputs it to a driver information system. The driver information system may appropriately present the information to the driver. The presentation of information can be visual, acoustic or haptic.
  • It may also be useful if the means for processing the acquired information output this to an actuator. It is thus possible to actively intervene in the vehicle state. For example, interventions in the engine control, the brakes, the clutch or the alarm system are conceivable.
  • Means are provided for generating light in the infrared spectral range, and the light can be emitted via the sensor optics in the environment of the vehicle. Thus, it is possible to perform a detection of the vehicle environment even with insufficient ambient light. For this purpose, the optical sensors must be designed so that they are able to realize a detection in the infrared spectral range. This also has the advantage, independent of the separate generation of light in the infrared spectral range, that infrared radiation in the environment can be evaluated.
  • Since the sensor optics can be used both for detecting the light emitted by the environment and for emitting the infrared light generated in the vehicle, a particularly rational arrangement is given. LEDs can be used as inexpensive sources of light in the infrared spectral range.
  • It is particularly advantageous if an imager chip is provided which is sensitive in the near infrared spectral range. In this way, the possibility of detection in the infrared spectral range is given. If one uses such an imager chip, for example in conjunction with a parabolic optics, an approximately circular image is produced on the imager chip. Then, advantageously, only this illuminated area of the imager chip is designed from photosensitive material, wherein the remaining area of the imager chip can be used, for example, for the evaluation logic.
  • Preferably, the sensors are arranged on the roof of a vehicle. As a result, the monitoring of the entire vehicle environment with only one camera and / or a camera pair is possible. But it is also possible to attach the sensors in the front of the vehicle with optional addition of another camera at the rear of the vehicle. This can for example have advantages with regard to the function ACC Stop & Go. Also, the attachment of a stereo camera pair at the rear of the vehicle is conceivable, and it is particularly useful here to attach another camera in the front area of the vehicle. This arrangement is particularly suitable for rear-facing applications, such as for use as a rear view camera.
  • It is particularly useful that the sensors in the side area have a free field of view. If you bring the sensors, for example, on the vehicle roof next to each other, so covers one sensor, the field of view of the other sensor in the lateral direction. This creates dead angles in the side region of the vehicle, which are particularly problematic. This circumstance can be counteracted by arranging the sensors offset so that there are free fields of view in the side area of the vehicle. This is particularly useful in terms of detecting the blind spot of the driver's field of view.
  • The invention is based on the surprising knowledge that the entire bandwidth of the available algorithms of digital image processing can be used in the field of stereo environment measurement. In particular, the possibility of the entire detectable vehicle environment Measuring three-dimensionally offers numerous advantages. Based on the measurement of the environment, for example, objects can be detected, traffic signs can be classified, lane boundaries can be found, and people in the vehicle environment can be detected. Also, with such a system, a variety of assistants, services and applications for the driver can be provided. Conceivable are applications in the field of active vehicle safety. For example, a precrash sensor system, the calculation and execution of braking and evasive maneuvers, support for stop & go, lane detection, ACC support and an automatic emergency brake can be implemented here. Assistance systems such as traffic sign recognition and parking assistance can also be implemented. On the basis of the present invention, it is also possible to support a security system which operates as an anti-theft alarm device. For this, the controller recognizes moving objects in the vehicle environment and sounds an alarm if a non-identifiable object appears trying to open the vehicle. It is also advantageous to mention that objects can be classified in the vehicle environment with the optical information. On this basis, for example, video images can be displayed to the driver not only in a direct form but also in a modified form. For example, in the modified display, the images may be equalized, or recognized objects may be highlighted according to their meaning.
  • drawings
  • The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings with reference to preferred embodiments.
  • Showing:
  • FIG. 1
    a plan view of a motor vehicle with a sensor;
    FIG. 2
    a plan view of a motor vehicle with two sensors;
    FIG. 3
    another plan view of a vehicle with two sensors;
    FIG. 4
    a plan view of a vehicle with exemplary arrangements of sensors;
    FIG. 5
    a block diagram for explaining an arrangement according to the invention;
    FIG. 6
    a schematic representation of a special optics for an inventive arrangement; and
    FIG. 7
    a further schematic representation of a special optics for an inventive arrangement.
    Description of the embodiments
  • FIG. 1 shows a plan view of a motor vehicle 10. On the roof 48 of the motor vehicle 10, an optical sensor 12 is arranged. The sensor 12 has a field of view 50 of 360 °. The representation of the field of view 50 is not to scale. With a single optical sensor 12, a two-dimensional image can be generated, so that a spatial resolution of the vehicle environment with an arrangement according to FIG. 1 is not possible.
  • FIG. 2 shows a motor vehicle 10 with two sensors 14, 16, which are arranged on the roof 48 of the vehicle 10.
  • FIG. 3 likewise shows a vehicle 10 with two sensors 18, 20 on the vehicle roof 48, wherein here additionally by circles 52, 54 it is shown that both sensors 18, 20 have an opening angle of 360 °. Since the two sensors 18, 20 have a distance from each other, the fields of view of the two sensors 18, 20, which are symbolized by the circles 52, 54, offset from each other. In the intersection of the two circles 52, 54 a stereo survey of the environment is possible. Consequently, the arrangement according to FIG. 3 allows numerous applications in which spatial resolution is important. On the axis of the connecting line between the sensors 18, 20 occurs due to the mutual shading to blind spots 56, 58 in the lateral region of the vehicle. There is no stereo measurement in these dead angles possible because one of the cameras 18, 20 is shaded.
  • Figure 4 shows, inter alia, a way to avoid this lateral shading. In a plan view, the arrangements of a plurality of sensors 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, are shown on a motor vehicle 10. The arrangement of the two sensors 22, 24, which may be provided in addition to the other illustrated sensors 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 or without them, a lateral shading can be avoided. Thus, by the staggered arrangement of the sensors 22, 24 also take place in the side region of the motor vehicle 10, a stereo measurement. This is particularly useful with regard to the detection of the blind spot with respect to the field of vision of the driver. By way of example, two further cameras 26, 28 are shown in the front region of the motor vehicle, which are advantageously combined with a sensor 34 at the rear of the motor vehicle. With such an arrangement, a controller for ACC Stop & Go can be realized particularly well. In addition, it should be mentioned that the use of three cameras, ie an additional camera in comparison to the embodiments according to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, makes it possible to further improve the three-dimensional modeling of the vehicle surroundings. Similarly, it is possible to arrange additional cameras 30, 32 at the rear of the motor vehicle 10, this being particularly suitable for applications intended to detect the rear field. These cameras 30, 32 can also be combined with other cameras, for example in the front region of the motor vehicle 10.
  • Figure 5 is a block diagram for explaining the present invention. By way of example, three cameras 26, 28, 34 are provided, which are arranged, for example, in the front region and in the rear region of a motor vehicle. Each of these cameras is equipped with an optic 38. The information captured by the cameras 26, 28, 34 is transmitted to a controller 36. The controller 36 can also be transmitted information from further information sources 60, for example from a steering angle sensor. The controller 36 processes this information using algorithms of digital image processing and other algorithms for evaluating the information of the sensor 60. The results of these evaluations are output to a vehicle information system 40. This can present the information to a driver in an appropriate manner. The presentation of information can be visual, acoustic or haptic. The controller 36 may also actively engage the vehicle state by driving one or more actuators 42. Interventions in the engine control, the brake, the clutch or an alarm system are conceivable, to name just a few examples.
  • FIG. 6 diagrammatically shows the optics of a sensor for an arrangement according to the invention. By way of example, a paraboloidal mirror pad 38 is provided which produces a substantially annular image. This image is projected onto an imager chip 46. In the lower part of the figure, the imager chip 46 is shown with the annular portion 62. Preferably, the regions which lie within the annular region 62 and which are outside the annular region 62 are used for other tasks, such as an evaluation logic.
  • FIG. 7 likewise shows an optical system which can be used in the context of the present invention. Again, it is a paraboloid mirror optics 38. In this example of FIG. 7, the paraboloid mirror optics 38 are used to radiate light generated by an LED 64 into the environment. Thus, a lighting environment takes place. The same exemplary paraboloid mirror optics 38 is then used to capture the images of the environment. It is particularly advantageous if the LED 64 is able to emit light which is in the infrared spectral range. Thus, an illumination of an ambient scene at night is possible, wherein the detection of incident infrared light can also be independent of the light source 64.
  • The foregoing description of the embodiments according to the present invention is for illustrative purposes only, and not for the purpose of limiting the invention. Various changes and modifications are possible within the scope of the invention without departing from the scope of the invention and the equivalents.

Claims (11)

  1. Arrangement for monitoring the surroundings of a vehicle (10), having
    - sensors (14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34) for acquiring properties of the surroundings, and
    - means (36) for processing the acquired information,
    - the sensors (14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34) being optical sensors, and
    - the means (36) for processing the acquired information outputting spatial information,
    characterized
    - in that at least two sensors (14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24) are provided, the sensors (14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34) comprising sensor optics (38) such that the sensors (14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34) operate in the wide angle range,
    - in that means (64) are provided for generating light in the infrared spectral range, and
    - in that the light is emitted via the sensor optics (38) into the surroundings of the vehicle (10), the sensor optics (38) being used both for acquiring the light output by the surroundings, and for emitting the infrared light generated in the vehicle (10).
  2. Arrangement according to Claim 1, characterized in that at least one of the sensors has fisheye optics.
  3. Arrangement according to Claim 1 or 2, characterized in that at least one of the sensors (18, 20) has optics for acquiring a viewing angle of 360°, in particular parabolic or paraboloid mirror optics (38).
  4. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that further sensors (26, 28, 30, 32, 34) are provided for acquiring further properties of the surroundings, it being possible for the information corresponding to the properties to be fed to the means (36) for processing the acquired information.
  5. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that further optical sensors (26, 28, 30, 32, 34) are provided.
  6. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the means (36) for processing the acquired information have a controller.
  7. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the means (36) for processing the acquired information output the latter to a driver information system (40).
  8. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the means (36) for processing the acquired information output the latter to an actuator system (42).
  9. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that an imager chip (46) is provided which is sensitive in the near infrared spectral range.
  10. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the sensors (14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24) are arranged on the roof (48) of a vehicle (10).
  11. Arrangement according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the sensors (22, 24) have a free field of view in the lateral region of the vehicle (10).
EP01998458A 2000-11-29 2001-10-13 System for monitoring the surrounding area of a vehicle Active EP1339561B1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE10059313A DE10059313A1 (en) 2000-11-29 2000-11-29 Arrangement and method for monitoring the surroundings of a vehicle
DE10059313 2000-11-29
PCT/DE2001/003931 WO2002043982A1 (en) 2000-11-29 2001-10-13 System and method for monitoring the surrounding area of a vehicle

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP1339561A1 EP1339561A1 (en) 2003-09-03
EP1339561B1 true EP1339561B1 (en) 2007-07-25

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US (1) US7362215B2 (en)
EP (1) EP1339561B1 (en)
JP (1) JP3844737B2 (en)
DE (2) DE10059313A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2002043982A1 (en)

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Publication number Publication date
WO2002043982A1 (en) 2002-06-06
US7362215B2 (en) 2008-04-22
DE50112771D1 (en) 2007-09-06
DE10059313A1 (en) 2002-06-13
EP1339561A1 (en) 2003-09-03
JP3844737B2 (en) 2006-11-15
US20040075544A1 (en) 2004-04-22
JP2004514384A (en) 2004-05-13

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