At BMW, we have developed a motion-stereo system that constructs a 3-D model of the area around the car from 2-D images generated by a single side-view camera. Because it uses the generic 2-D camera already installed on BMW vehicles, the motion-stereo approach offers a cost-effective alternative to solutions that require specialized sensors.
Using MATLAB®, Image Processing Toolbox™, and THECON’s MATLAB based MOBIL Image Acquisition and Processing Toolbox, engineers from BMW and THECON developed a real-time prototype of the system, which combines images taken from different car positions with vehicle speed, wheel position, and angles data to determine the shape and dimensions of the parking space. In addition to parking assistance, the 3-D representation produced by the system can be used for a variety of other applications, including collision avoidance and automated warnings of curbs and obstacles.
By Dr. Eric Wahl, BMW Group, and Dr. Rolf-Dieter Therburg, THECON
This article was published in MATLAB Digest, November 2008