Visibility Measurement for ADAS and Autonomous Vehicle

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Visibility measurement for ADAS and Autonomous Vehicle
By NEXYAD

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and partial or total delegation of car control systems will integrate more and more cameras. Those cameras are used to capture video and images are inputs for obstacle detection algorithms, road detection algorithms, detection of pedestrians systems, …

However, a camera can “see” only under certain conditions, and the algorithms used to exploit image need a certain level of image quality. It is possible that some algorithms test themselves if they are in a case of good image quality or not, but in the general case, they don’t, and it is then prudent to have a qualification system that is independent of the detection systems.

The company NEXYAD has worked for years on atmospheric visibility measurement for military application, and was able to develop predictive models of the ability for a human to detect objects. This work can be easily set to pass from a performance prediction of the human vision to a prediction of performance for a machine vision system.

The models consist in comparing the contrast in the scene with the required contrast for detection and / or pattern recognition.
Such a system requires that is respected a compromise between several characteristics of the image:
. number of different gray levels (for a digital camera, it depends on the number of bits)
. size of the objects to be detected
. contrast of objects from their background

Note for Automotive engineers : a performance specification for a camera-based detection system, without giving the minimum contrast, le maximum number of pixels, the number of bits … does NOT have any sense. It is important to know that fact in order to make applications that work and application that know when they work.
For instance, we are all able to detect stars in a dark night sky : the size of objects is very small, the number of Grayscale is very low (pure black and pure white), and the contrast of objects from the background is huge.

Contrast

Similarly, we are able to distinguish clouds over gray sky : the size of objects is very large, and even on edges there is no detail (no high frequency / contours), and the number of different gray levels is very large (gradual grey scale from black to white).

Clouds

Between these two extremes are all possible cases, and in particular with all traffic scenes that may vary greatly from one to another :
. sunny day, overcast day, dark night, undergrowth, sunset, night in headlights, fog, rain, etc …

Visibility_Measurement

In addition to these technical compromise, there are criteria (eg criteria Johnson) that allow to objectify the subjective.

NEXYAD has developed a tool called VisiNex that integrates models and criteria described above, which led to two products:

. VisiNex Lab : test bench for visibility measurement. It sets a vehicle with calibrated visibility disturbances (rain machine, fog machine, …), and VisiNex Lab measures the evolution of the available visibility during the disturbance and during activation of visibility restoration systems (lighting, demisting, wiping, …).
VisiNex Lab is used to adjust the rain sensors, the wiper systems, the lighting systems. VisiNex is a world leader on this type of use : https://nexyad.net/Automotive-Transportation/?page_id=159

VisiNex_Banc

. VisiNex Onboard : NEXYAD took his model into onboard applications to apply and qualify road visibility along the route running (important place to qualify for the road safety applications).
VisiNex Onboard is currently being integrated into the framework for asynchronous real-time applications development RT-MAPS, and will soon be in the NEXYAD vision modules pack for ADAS and driving delegation applications.

VisiNex Onboard
Standard visibility on a highway scene.                             Degraded visibility when approaching a tunnel

VisiNex Onboard can be used in automotive application on the following topics :
. visibility measurement to control Visibility restoration systems (wiper, lighting, …)
. qualification of visibility conditions where an obstacle detection or road detection system will work properly.

The second point is important because road safety applications require to maximize the reliability of vision systems.

To know more :sales@nexyad.net

New release of RoadNex (Road recognition for ADAS)

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New release of RoadNex (Road recognition for ADAS)

Road recognition: RoadNex

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NEXYAD joins the business cluster INI (in Mov’eo) / NEXYAD rejoint le Groupement INI (Intégration du Numérique pour l’Industrie) du pôle de compétitivité Mov’eo (July 1, 2013)

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NEXYAD joins the high tech business cluster INI (Integration of Digital Technologies into Industrial applications) :
. Special machines for quality control and intelligent sorting and defects detection
. Integration of cameras, sensors, actuators, digital pasting, computers, software, … into car prototypes
and complex products
. Portable diagnosis systems
. Communication car to car and car to back office (geo localization, statistics, …)
. Library for real time ADAS development

SMEs of this business cluster gather their products, know how and skills, in order to bring new innovative wing to wing solution to customers.

Link : http://groupementini.canalblog.com/

INI is a business clusters of SMEs gathered by Mov’eo

Official web site (French spoken) : http://www.pole-moveo.org/

Blog of the High Technologies SMEs of Mov’eo : http://pole-moveo.org/moveo-blog/

ADAS demonstration (March 31, 2011)

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NEXYAD demonstrated a result of the research program MERIT at the members day of the Competitive Cluster Mov’eo :
onboard road recognition, visibility measurement, obstacle detection, and road safety level estimation … implanted into a 3G mobile phone (Android OS)