Autoblog has a post about Nissan’s in-development Around View Monitor technology. The system uses 4 cameras positioned around the car. The feed from each camera is corrected and composited by a computer to produce a bird’s eye view of the space around the car.
I can’t help it, but I instantly think of the first generation Grand Theft Auto game, viewing your vehicle from top-down. I wonder if the system will be active while driving at speed… and if it is, I imagine it could lead to some EXTREMELY aggressive lane changes on the interstate.
I’m completely in love with the concept of creating a new view point by compositing several other viewpoints. Using the controlled distortion of specifically designed lenses, you could create some very dramatic views from a system of cameras. I think Nissan is just touching the surface of what’s possible with current technology, and I expect that we will see some amazing things in the near future, whether they are in the automotive industry or not.
Here’s Nissan’s press release:
NISSAN TO INTRODUCE WORLD’S FIRST AROUND VIEW MONITOR
TOKYO (Oct. 12, 2007) â€“ Nissan Motor Co., Ltd will introduce the world’s first Around View Monitor, which offers the driver a bird’s eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings in real-time. In Japan, the Around View Monitor will debut in the new Elgrand, scheduled for introduction at the end of this month. The technology will also be offered to the U.S. market on the all new Infiniti EX35 scheduled for launch this December.
The Around View Monitor system sythesises a bird’s eye image of the vehicle and its surroundings from four ultrawide-angle (180-degree) high-resolution cameras mounted on the front, sides and rear of the vehicle. The Around View Monitor is particularly helpful when parking, enabling the driver to steer easily and precisely into a parking space.
The screen displays the view from above on the left, and a front or rear view on the right. The front and rear views alternate according to the gear shift. This allows the driver a comprehensive view of the vehicle and its surrounding environment from all angles.
The left side-view is offered with the rear view, allowing the driver to more easily observe both the rear and left-front when attempting to parallel-park. The driver has the option to choose between the top view and the left side-view.
The camera-enabled sensors mounted on all four corners of the vehicle depict the distance to an obstacle in easy-to-understand coloured graphics, and help warn the driver via a “beeping” alert the closer the vehicle approaches a fixed obstacle.