Parking device gives bird's eye view of carDigital cameras give 360 degree picture

13 October 2007

A new car parking device that gives drivers a 360-degree bird's eye view of their vehicle has been unveiled.

Nissan said its system is the first to go into commercial mass-production.

Using digital cameras mounted outside the car, Around View Monitor displays an aerial view of it on a dashboard screen.

The option will be available initially in America and Japan from the end of the year, but the price has not yet been set.

Blind spots

Other car makers have similar technology using digital cameras to show images of a driver's blind spots, but Nissan's system puts together the images to create the entire aerial view, not just the front or the rear.

Images from all sides are shown the way they appear from above - with the vehicle displayed as a computer graphic in the middle of the screen.

Toyota has a system in which the car parks by itself - even if the driver has no hands on the steering wheel - calculating from its built-in computer, steering sensor and a tiny camera in the rear the proper route into a parking spot.

Sensors

Nissan's technology uses four digital cameras, mounted on the front, sides and rear of the vehicle.

The screen, which also works as the car-navigation display, is split in two: the left side provides the view from above while the right side is a close-up of where the car is headed.

That image automatically shifts to either the front or back view depending on whether the car is in drive or reverse.

The car also has sensors which sound an alarm if something gets too close.

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