Toyota Safety Sense makes sense from Continental Multi Function Camera with Lidar (MFL)

MDL_toyota_safety_sense_2_en-onlineDataToyota Safety Sense uses MFL from Continental. Continental developed the integrated new sensor module Multi Function Camera with Lidar (MFL) by integrating a camera and an infrared Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging Sensor) into a single compact unit.

Production started this year. The developed unit is now supplied to Toyota Motor Corporation for their new active safety packages “Toyota Safety Sense C” for compact cars.

Toyota Safety Sense C offers  three active safety technologies:

  • Pre-Collision System (PCS)
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA)
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB)

In the Multi Function Camera with Lidar, Continental has integrated two competitive sensor technologies. By combining the strengths of a camera with those of an infrared Lidar, the new sensor module is able to detect objects ahead of the vehicle, and when there is a possibility of collision, it prompts the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert.

If the driver fails to brake in time, the system automatically applies the brakes. Thus, up to a speed of approximately 80 km/h a crash can be completely avoided if the relative speed to the detected object is less than 50 km/h. If the speed differences are greater, emergency braking will considerably reduce the force of the impact.

CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) cameras are already used for categorizing objects in front of a vehicle. However, by itself, a CMOS camera cannot always provide sufficiently reliable information for initiating automatic emergency braking.

Continental is combining the passive sensor technology with an infrared Lidar in the Multi Function Camera with Lidar. The Lidar sensor transmits three pulsed infrared beams with a 905nm wavelength and measures the time-of-flight until the reflected beams reach the receiving optics.

The sensor monitors a distance of more than ten meters in front of the vehicle, which classifies it as a short-range Lidar system. From the speed of light and the time-of-flight, the Multi Function Camera with Lidar is able to calculate the distance to the object to an accuracy of up to ten centimeters. In conjunction with the CMOS camera, the sensor module now provides a robust means of object categorization and reliability.

With tight cost restrictions in mind, particularly as regards compact vehicles, the Multi Function Camera with Lidar module has been made scalable. Depending on the application, the computing capacity can be adjusted to three different comprehensive levels. In all three variants, the MFL always provides robust and reliable data on which to base the decision to initiate automatic emergency braking – and does so in the smallest space. In addition to Lane Departure Alert (LDA) which is available in Toyota Safety Sense C package, other ADAS functions such as Lane Keeping Support (LKS) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) can be installed as additional optional vehicle equipment with the same sensor module.