Vehicular imaging system with controlled illumination device and camera

  • US 10,805,550 B2
  • Filed: 09/10/2018
  • Issued: 10/13/2020
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/30/2009
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An imaging system for capturing images rearward of a vehicle, the imaging system comprising:

  • a tail lamp assembly configured for mounting at a rear portion of a vehicle equipped with the imaging system, wherein the tail lamp assembly includes at least one light source that, when activated, emits light, and wherein, with the tail lamp assembly mounted at the equipped vehicle and with the at least one light source activated, the tail lamp assembly emits light that illuminates a field of illumination rearward of the equipped vehicle;

    a control that operates at least one light source of the tail lamp assembly in a repeating cycle that includes (i) a first illumination period wherein light emitted by the tail lamp assembly has a first brightness level, and (ii) a second illumination period wherein light emitted by the tail lamp assembly has a second brightness level that is lower than the first brightness level;

    a camera disposed at the vehicle, wherein the camera captures image data representative of a region that is at least in part encompassed by the field of illumination illuminated by the tail lamp assembly with the tail lamp assembly mounted at the rear portion of the equipped vehicle and with the at least one light source activated;

    wherein, with the tail lamp assembly mounted at the equipped vehicle and with the at least one light source activated, the camera captures image data during at least part of the first illumination period and during at least part of the second illumination period; and

    an image processor that processes image data captured by the camera, wherein the image processor receives image data captured by the camera during both the first and second illumination periods and ignores image data corresponding to image data captured by the camera during the second illumination period.

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