Vehicular multi-camera vision system

  • US 10,057,489 B2
  • Filed: 09/18/2017
  • Issued: 08/21/2018
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/06/2013
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A vision system for a vehicle, said vision system comprising:

  • a plurality of cameras disposed at a vehicle and having respective fields of view exterior of the vehicle;

    wherein said plurality of cameras comprises a forward viewing camera having at least a forward field of view forward of the vehicle, a rearward viewing camera having at least a rearward field of view rearward of the vehicle, a driver-side sideward viewing camera having at least a sideward field of view at a driver side of the vehicle and a passenger-side sideward viewing camera having at least a sideward field of view at a passenger side of the vehicle;

    an electronic control unit;

    wherein each of said cameras is operable to automatically control its exposure, gain and white balance responsive to a first control signal received from said electronic control unit and is operable to disable automatic control of its exposure, gain and white balance responsive to a second control signal received from said electronic control unit;

    wherein one of said plurality of cameras functions as a master camera and other cameras of said plurality of cameras function as slave cameras;

    wherein, during a forward driving maneuver of the vehicle, said forward viewing camera functions as the master camera and at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera function as slave cameras, and wherein, during the forward driving maneuver of the vehicle, (i) said forward viewing camera receives the first signal from said electronic control unit to enable the automatic control of exposure, gain and white balance of said forward viewing camera, (ii) at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera receive respective second signals from said electronic control unit to disable automatic control of exposure, gain and white balance of at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera, and (iii) said electronic control unit controls exposure, gain and white balance of at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera in accordance with the enabled automatic control of said forward viewing camera;

    wherein, during a reversing maneuver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing camera functions as the master camera and at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera function as slave cameras, and wherein, during the reversing maneuver of the vehicle, (i) said rearward viewing camera receives the first signal from said electronic control unit to enable the automatic control of exposure, gain and white balance of said rearward viewing camera, (ii) at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera receive respective second signals from said electronic control unit to disable automatic control of exposure, gain and white balance of at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera, and (iii) said electronic control unit controls exposure, gain and white balance of at least said driver-side sideward viewing camera and said passenger-side sideward viewing camera in accordance with the enabled automatic control of said rearward viewing camera;

    an image processing system operable to process image data captured by said plurality of cameras;

    wherein, responsive to processing of captured image data, said vision system is operable to synthesize a composite image derived from image data captured by at least the master camera and the slave cameras;

    wherein the composite image comprises a bird'"'"'s eye view image derived from image data captured by at least the master camera and the slave cameras;

    wherein exposure, gain and white balance parameters of the master camera are used at least by the master camera and the slave cameras;

    wherein exposure, gain and white balance parameters of the master camera are carried between the master camera and the electronic control unit; and

    wherein said electronic control unit sends exposure, gain and white balance parameters carried between the master camera and said electronic control unit to at least the slave cameras so that borders of adjacent image sections of the composite image, when displayed to a driver of the vehicle by a display device of the vehicle, appear uniform in at least one of (i) brightness at the borders of the image sections and (ii) color at the borders of the image sections.

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