Surround view is a vehicle camera system that provides different views like top view, rear view and panorama view to assist the driver when parking, either manually or automatically. It offers the driver the view of the exterior of the vehicle to aid in manoeuvring the vehicle to park and to alert the driver to obstacles in its path that may not be immediately visible. A display on the vehicle’s interior control panel shows surround view, which is typically composed of four wide-angle cameras that are mounted in the wing mirrors, at the front and rear of the vehicle.
Currently, surround view provides a view to assist the driver as he or she parks. The next levels of surround view will be paired with object detection for auto park, which is where the vehicle moves from the traffic lane to a parking area while the driver is still inside the car. The next evolution will be remote park, followed by valet park.
The simplest implementation today is a 360 degree view from above in 2D perspective and is called “top view”. The different views are stitched together with the correct geometric alignment of the cameras. The brightness and colour of the different cameras’ videos are adjusted to enable a harmonized view.
This top view already assists the driver when parking, and can be enriched with additional information such as 2D overlays or a specific rear view using only the rear camera.
The next stage is to improve the representation with a 3D view and arbitrary viewpoints. This allows driver to choose any viewpoint around the car and get a more detailed representation of the car’s surroundings.
It gives the driver a better judgement of the distance from objects when parking. Automated object detection, in addition to the visual representation, will increase safety as it can give automated warnings to the driver. It will also be possible to let the car brake automatically during parking, if an object is too near.
Auto park, remote park and valet park are the next evolutionary steps. Auto park, with the driver still in the car, will provide automated parking based on object recognition, including other cars and pedestrians as well as confining elements like kerbs. The following step is remote park, where the driver can stand outside the car while it moves automatically into a tight parking spot such as a garage. Valet park will go beyond this – the driver will be able to leave the car at the entrance of a car park, and the car will find a space autonomously. This, however, will require investment in the infrastructure of the car park, as well as the sensors in the car.