Forward facing sensing system for vehicle

  • US 8,294,608 B1
  • Filed: 07/03/2012
  • Issued: 10/23/2012
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/25/2007
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A forward facing sensing system for a vehicle, the vehicle having a windshield, said forward facing sensing system comprising:

  • a windshield electronics module, said windshield electronics module disposed in the interior cabin of the vehicle behind the vehicle windshield;

    a radar sensor device disposed within said windshield electronics module and wherein said radar sensor device has a sensing direction forward of the vehicle;

    an image sensor disposed within said windshield electronics module and wherein said image sensor has a viewing direction forward of the vehicle;

    a control comprising an image processor, said image processor operable to analyze images captured by said image sensor in order to, at least in part, detect an object present forward of the vehicle in its direction of forward travel;

    wherein at least one of (a) said radar sensor device utilizes at least one of beam aiming and beam selection, (b) said radar sensor device utilizes digital beam forming, (c) said radar sensor device utilizes digital beam steering, (d) said radar sensor device comprises an array antenna, (e) said radar sensor device comprises a phased array antenna and (f) said image sensor comprises a pixelated imaging array sensor;

    wherein said radar sensor device transmits at a frequency of at least about 20 GHz;

    wherein at least a part of said windshield electronics module disposed in the interior cabin of the vehicle behind the vehicle windshield may be removed therefrom for at least one of (i) service and (ii) replacement;

    wherein said control, at least in part, determines that a potentially hazardous condition may exist in the path of forward travel of the vehicle, and wherein said potentially hazardous condition comprises at least one of (i) another vehicle, (ii) a person and (iii) an animal; and

    wherein said radar sensor device and said image sensor collaborate in a way that enhances the sensing capability of said sensing system for the potentially hazardous condition in the path of forward travel of the vehicle.

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