OmniVision, Ambarella, and Smart Eye Partner on Automotive Industry’s First Combined Driver Monitoring and Videoconferencing Camera Solution

November 17, 2020 Tiera Oliver

OmniVision, Ambarella, and Smart Eye, announced the automotive industry’s first complete solution for dual-mode camera applications.

This joint solution simultaneously monitors drivers while capturing vehicle occupants for one-way videoconferencing. It features OmniVision’s automotive OV2312 image sensor, with a dual-mode global shutter that captures both RGB color images and IR images under low-light conditions. These dual captures are then processed simultaneously by Ambarella’s CV22AQ CVflow computer vision processor, which runs Smart Eye’s algorithms to analyze the driver’s state and alert the vehicle to any unsafe indicators, such as drowsiness. The companies worked together to integrate this solution, which is available as a complete reference design, allowing automotive designers to focus on differentiating their final application while simplifying the overall design effort.

The OV2312 provides advanced ASIL functional safety and near-infrared (NIR) light performance of 14% quantum efficiency at the 940nm wavelength, along with suitable modulation transfer function (MTF). Its power consumption is consuming 190mW in typical conditions. The end result is that the OV2312 reduces the number of image sensors in the system, saving both power and space by eliminating the need for multiple rolling shutter sensors.

The OV2312 is the latest member of OmniVision’s automotive global shutter image sensor family. It is pin-to-pin compatible with the OV2310 and OV2311 family members, which provides designers with the flexibility to choose the best feature set for their needs.

Ambarella’s scalable CVflow processor family provides a full range of systems on chip (SoCs) across multiple performance and price points. The company’s powerful image signal pipeline (ISP), with support for OmniVision’s dual-mode RGB-IR color filter arrays, enables high-accuracy detection and monitoring, even in low-light, in-cabin environments. Its high dynamic range (HDR) processing extracts maximum image detail in high-contrast scenes, further enhancing the chip’s computer vision capabilities and the performance potential of Smart Eye algorithms.

Smart Eye’s DMS solution offers eye tracking software for integration in passenger cars and other vehicles to facilitate better safety and other functions that improve the user experience. By studying eye, facial and head movement, Smart Eye’s interior vehicle algorithms can draw conclusions about a person’s alertness, attention, and focus.

The companies are currently in discussions with automotive OEMs regarding the implementation of this reference design in upcoming car models. This joint solution enables the full range of driver and cabin monitoring implementations, from safety applications to augmented reality displays and interior sensing with deep neural networks and AI. The solution’s one-way video conferencing allows remote conference participants to see those in the vehicle, while the vehicle receives only audio to reduce driver distraction.

This joint reference design, including a demo board equipped with the three companies’ pretuned devices and software, is expected to be available to qualified customers later this quarter.

For more information, visit: www.ambarella.com, http://smarteye.ai, or www.ovt.com

About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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