Automotive camera solution for driver monitoring, videoconferencing

Automotive camera solution for driver monitoring, videoconferencing

Market news |
Digital imaging solutions developer OmniVision Technologies, AI vision silicon company Ambarella, and AI-powered facial tracking technology company Smart Eye have announced that they are partnering on the automotive industry’s first complete solution for dual-mode camera applications.
By Rich Pell


The joint solution, which simultaneously monitors drivers while capturing vehicle occupants for one-way videoconferencing, features OmniVision’s automotive industry-first OV2312 image sensor with a dual-mode global shutter that captures both RGB color images and IR images under low-light conditions. These dual captures are then processed simultaneously by Ambarella’s CV22AQ CVflow computer vision processor, which runs Smart Eye’s algorithms to analyze the driver’s state and alert the vehicle to any unsafe indicators, such as drowsiness.

This joint solution, say the companies, enables the full range of driver and cabin monitoring implementations, from safety applications to augmented reality displays and interior sensing with deep neural networks and AI. The solution’s one-way video conferencing allows remote conference participants to see those in the vehicle, while the vehicle receives only audio to reduce driver distraction.

“Our CV22AQ offers best-in-class image processing and high performance AI computing at low power consumption, typically below 2.5 watts,” says Fermi Wang, president and CEO of Ambarella. “While we have worked together to pretune this joint solution, designers still have the flexibility to further customize it to the needs of their specific implementations.”

Martin Krantz, CEO of Smart Eye says, “Our AI software makes it possible for automotive OEMs and tier-1s to deploy a new generation of driver and in-cabin monitoring systems with advanced AI features, increasing safety and convenience for drivers and passengers. This dual-mode joint solution has the unique ability to monitor the driver while simultaneously capturing images for videoconferencing, regardless of lighting conditions.”

Mario Heid, vice president of OmniVision Europe says, “Our OV2312 is the only automotive image sensor that offers the combination of dual-mode RGB-IR capture and a global shutter. Without this combined functionality, the camera system designers would have to use two separate image sensors, which is too expensive for most vehicles. At the same time, the European Union (through Euro NCAP) is requiring that all new cars sold in Europe have a driver monitoring system (DMS) camera by 2022, and our joint solution gives OEMs the flexibility to differentiate their vehicle features while meeting this mandate.”

The companies say they worked together to integrate and fine tune this solution, which is available as a complete reference design, allowing automotive designers to focus on differentiating their final application while simplifying the overall design effort. The companies are currently in discussions with automotive OEMs regarding the implementation of this reference design in upcoming car models.

The joint reference design, including a demo board equipped with the three companies’ pretuned devices and software, is expected to be available to qualified customers later this quarter. Customers interested in obtaining this three-way demo are asked to contact their local sales representative for one of the three companies.

OmniVision Technologies
Smart Eye

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Ambarella, Smart Eye partner on next-gen AI-based driver monitoring
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