DENSO Develops Small Stereo Vision Sensor - A downsized sensor to help improve the safety of compact cars -

Dec. 27, 2016 News Releases Products & Services Innovation

KARIYA (Japan) ― DENSO Corporation today announced that it has developed a small stereo vision sensor to contribute to improving the safety of compact vehicles. The new product is the world’s smallest* automotive stereo vision sensor and is used in Smart Assist III, a crash avoidance system designed for the new Daihatsu Tanto, which was released in November 2016.

Vision sensors use a camera to detect white lines and obstacles on the road ahead. The new sensor uses a pair of cameras placed side by side, which enables the distance to a target object to be measured more accurately and enhances the activation of autonomous emergency braking systems to avoid a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian, lane departure warning systems, and auto high beam systems that automatically switch the headlights from high beam to low beam for better night vision.

Compact vehicles have limited space to install devices. Therefore, vision sensors are required to be small for easier installation. Generally, in stereo cameras, the longer the distance between the two camera lenses (baseline), the longer the measurable distance to the target, meaning that the camera body needs to be larger to extend the maximum measurable distance. A combination of highly accurate lens distortion correction and stereo matching technologies enables the new sensor to ensure that the maximum measurable distance is long enough while the baseline length is halved. Moreover, the new sensor is integrated with and is controlled by an ECU. Thus, the new product can be installed more easily.

The abovementioned innovations enable the new sensor to be mounted behind the windshield rearview mirror so the driver’s forward vision is not hindered. The sensor is located within the range of the windshield wipers, where contamination on the windshield is easily removed by their blades, so that the sensor can perform properly without being affected by rain and other debris on the windshield.

In 2012, DENSO developed a laser radar sensor used in Daihatsu’s Smart Assist System, the first active safety product of its kind introduced to the Japanese compact vehicle market. Using technologies that it has developed, DENSO will continue to contribute to building a traffic accident-free, safe and secure automotive society for all people around the world, not just for drivers and pedestrians.

*As of November 30, 2016. Inquiry by DENSO

Stereo Vision sensor

Product size: Width = 125 mm (camera width = 80 mm) × Height = 35 mm × Depth = 85 mm
About DENSO Corporation

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world's major carmakers. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs more than 150,000 people. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, totaled US$40.2 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges.