Image sensors offer sharper in-cabin images -

Image sensors offer sharper in-cabin images

LONDON — STMicroelectronics has introduced two new automotive global shutter image sensors for automotive in-cabin driver monitoring enabling high dynamic range and low noise where crosstalk is minimized even at near-infrared illumination.

ST's new VG5661 and VG5761 are intended for high-end computer vision applications in automotive and industrial machine vision, with in-pixel linear high dynamic range. In automotive, they enhance monitoring of vehicle occupants by capturing the scene as illuminated from the camera, eliminating unpredictable external effects such as sunlight or street lighting. Their image quality sharpens the responses of driver-monitoring systems, especially under near-infrared illumination close to 940 nm, and enables new features such as assessing driver attention, passenger comfort, or child behavior.

The new sensors use ST’s automotive global shutter technology, which minimizes the illumination power consumption, even in high dynamic range mode.

The sensors were shown with automotive software company Jungo’s driver-monitoring solution CoDriver at the recent AutoSens Imaging conference and at electronica 2018. Jungo’s driver-monitoring software utilizes images from ST’s sensors to monitor the position and movements of all occupants, assessing the driver’s condition and accurately surveying the location and movements of other vehicle occupants. The purpose of the demonstration with Jungo was to show how to improve interactions between autonomous and human drivers and how passenger monitoring can be used to enhance comfort and security.

Driver fatigue is thought to be a factor in up to 25% of auto accidents, so enhanced driver monitoring with image sensors can help reduce injuries and save lives. Good sensing accuracy can help autonomous driving systems assess a human driver’s fitness to take over any time during a journey, easing transitions between manual and autonomous driving modes for greater comfort and safety.

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