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Interview with Ulm University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Dr. Anestis Terzis, Head of Institute of Communication Technology at Ulm University of Applied Sciences spoke to us ahead of IS Auto Europe 2020 about his forthcoming presentation on international regulatory and normative framework for camera monitor systems, future advancements in ADAS and AD and more.

Q. You will be speaking on system requirements and test procedures for camera-monitor-systems – can you give some insight into what delegates will hear in your presentation?

I will be discussing the international regulatory and normative framework for camera monitor systems. For me it is very important to emphasize, that the normative framework describes only the minimum system requirements so that the system designers are free to include more features. We are working on new system architectures and measurement technology for CMS. One outcome of this work is a system design, based on a novel hybrid SoC-FPGA platform including high performance cloud processing extension. In my presentation, I will point out the challenges in system design, and introduce our new approach for a future advanced CMS architecture. Beside the technical facts, one additional take away will be the fact that camera-monitor-systems are today an established technological discipline and a growing R&D Field, both, in industry and in academia.

Q. Are camera-monitor-systems road legal in all countries?

There is currently no single legal framework worldwide for CMS. The amendment of 2016 to United Nations ECE Regulation No. 46 is based on the ISO 16505:2015 and is the first regulation permitting the use of CMS as an alternative to mirrors for passenger cars as well as for commercial vehicles. This Regulation No. 46 has been adopted by 42 countries including substantial vehicle markets such as the European Union member states and Russia. Japanese regulation authorities changed already the legal framework also to enable CMS in Japan. For other countries, the use of CMS has to be assessed on a country-by-country basis. Back in 2014, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers petitioned National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to allow the use of CMS in the USA. Today there is an ongoing development of the standard SAE J 3155 for CMS that can be the basis for replacement of mirrors in the US. In January 2019, the FMCSA (US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) approves already a 5 Year exemption for the use of CMS for commercial vehicles in the US. In the next few years, I personally expect this technology to be enabled stepwise in every country.

Q. What do you think will be some of the most interesting advancements in ADAS and AD in the near future? How do you think the conference agenda addresses these?

The agenda of the conference is very balanced from a technological point of view and covers all major topics of automotive image sensors and perception.

ADAS and AD is an enormously large and diverse subject area. The discussion of all possible future advancements would be a very long conversation. I think the launch of Level 3 production vehicles can certainly be seen as an important milestone.

There is excellent progress being made in the required sensor and processing technology over the last years.

One topic I’d like to focus on is that of advancements in vision based perception systems. Traditional camera sensors are unable to sense their surroundings under all weather conditions. One very promising technology is the so-called Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) camera. SWIR is a subset of the infrared band within the electromagnetic spectrum. The use of wavelengths of up to 2 micrometer improves the vision at night and e.g. through fog or dust. There are ongoing activities in the semiconductor design that will probably enable the mass production of cost-effective CMOS-based automotive grade SWIR cameras in the next years. The combined use of SWIR cameras with traditional ADAS sensors and the latest perception processing is a very promising approach.

Another topic I’d like to point out is the importance of intelligent infrastructure and especially connectivity. Low latency and reliable high throughput wireless technologies like 5G networks will be required for ADAS and AD. Our novel hybrid digital architecture e.g. relies on wireless technology and splits the computing resources in the in vehicle computing part and in the high performance cloud computing part, that can provide also sensing and perception services.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about attending the IS Auto Europe: Perception Systems Conference?

I’ve supported the development of CMS over the years, and I want continuously to contribute to the development of CMS – also by attending and presenting at this Conference. IS Auto Europe is for me a unique forum combining contributions from leading experts of the automotive industry and academia. I am looking forward to meet the experts and to discuss the current challenges in the development of perception systems for ADAS and AD.