Fujitsu has received an award for a 360 degree wrap around video imaging technology aimed at the automotive market. With 360 degree cameras becoming more popular as a way to acquire content for virtual reality glasses, we have heard about 360 degree cameras for the automotive market from other players as well. While Jaguar, for example, wants to project the outside world on the inside surfaces to create a transparent vehicle, Fujitsu is creating a birds-eye view of the surrounding area to allow the driver to make sure that he is not getting too close to any objects.
The following image describes the functionality of the technology.
While the cameras create a distorted view of the surroundings, the Fujitsu technology creates a corrected 3D map of the area in real time. As a consequence, the view can be either a birds-eye view of the vehicle or any other pre-defined eye position. This also includes a 3D image if desired. There is a more detailed description of the system available on the Fujistu Ten website.
The following video shows a short spin around of the vehicle via the new system.
The images show that the distortions are definitely reduced, but some residual distortions are still visible in the straight lines. Overall this could make for a very helpful technology in vehicles. Interestingly Fujitsu received this award from the Fiscal 2015 Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan. In the announcement the Ministry states that “these achievements promise to markedly improve driving safety for passenger cars and large buses, contributing to safer and more secure motor-vehicle transportation”. The recipient was Yoshihiko Imanaka (Research Manager, Device & Materials Laboratories, Fujitsu Laboratories).
This idea was first announced by Fujitsu in 2008 and several times after. Maybe now the time has finally come to bring this technology to the automotive market. – NH