A few weeks ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), after much delay, passed a law requiring backup cameras in cars. It will, first and foremost, improve safety, particularly for the small children who cannot be seen without them and are the victims of thousands of backup accidents annually. Backup cameras have proven very effective in studies, beating out parking sensors and other machine vision methods in effectively preventing crashes.
We want to know what this all means for car manufacturers and, of course, camera manufacturers (our customers) who will soon be producing and assembling cameras to meet a growing demand as they ramp up to May of 2018, when all new cars will be required to have them.
Already many car manufacturers have included backup cameras as an option or standard in new car models. The NHTSA said there will be requirements governing image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation, but the most important was simply the ability to see in a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. But perhaps there should also be a requirement for camera clarity? Car makers say their main challenge is integrating the screen into the dashboard, but with so many cars already offering a backup camera system, it’s clear they have already found some solutions.
The main challenge we see is that the obligatory 10 by 20 foot visible zone definitely requires a wide angle or fish eye camera module. Therefore, these automotive backup cameras must certainly be assembled using active alignment so that the outside edges of the resulting image are in focus. Otherwise, the safety measure will be compromised.
The good news for us is that we will be working hard on our products – Pixid Systems – so that they will produce the best backup cameras possible, with no fuzzy imaging areas around the edges. We can see now that backup cameras are here to stay; we know that our company is contributing to automotive safety through our work to create rearview cameras with optimized clarity. We hope that more innovation in the automotive world, including the head-up displays that project information onto the windshield, will improve driving safety even further.