By Andrew Liszewski
Today Fujitsu Laboratories Inc. announced a new video-processing technology that gives a driver a complete wraparound view of their vehicle’s perimeter in real time, eliminating blind spots and reducing the number of small animals they accidentally back over. As well as providing a complete 360 degree view of what’s around their vehicle, the technology also allows a driver to choose a specific point of view that’s most appropriate for their current activity, like backing up or parallel parking.
The system uses video captured by 4 cameras installed around the vehicle that is processed and projected onto a virtual 3D curved plane, kind of like Quicktime VR. However, Fujitsu Microelectronics actually developed a new OpenGL graphics chip (the MB86R01 SoC) specifically for processing the video feeds that allows them to be stitched together with smooth, instant transitions no matter what perspective the driver chooses. The only downside I can see is that the driver might become too reliant on a small dashboard mounted LCD, so perhaps this technology could be further enhanced with a slick heads-up display of some sort.