Forward facing sensing system for vehicle

  • US 9,140,789 B2
  • Filed: 12/16/2013
  • Issued: 09/22/2015
  • 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 radar sensor device disposed within an interior cabin of a vehicle equipped with said forward facing sensing system, and wherein said radar sensor device has a sensing direction forward of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said radar sensor device comprises an array antenna and wherein said radar sensor device utilizes digital beam forming;

    an image sensor disposed within the interior cabin of the equipped vehicle and wherein said image sensor has a viewing direction forward of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said image sensor comprises a pixelated image array sensor having a two dimensional array of photosensing elements;

    wherein said image sensor is at least one of (a) proximate to a windshield of the equipped vehicle and (b) optically coupled at a windshield of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said radar sensor device and said image sensor are disposed behind the vehicle windshield in a windshield electronics module;

    a control comprising an image processor;

    wherein said image processor processes image data captured by said image sensor utilizing object detection software;

    wherein processing by said image processor of image data captured by said image sensor utilizing object detection software comprises processing of pixel outputs within a sub-array of said image sensor;

    wherein said image processor is operable to analyze image data captured by said image sensor in order to, at least in part, detect an object present forward of the equipped vehicle in its direction of forward travel;

    wherein said control, responsive at least in part to processing by said image processor of captured image data and to an output of said radar sensor device, determines that a potentially hazardous condition may exist in the path of forward travel of the equipped vehicle, and wherein said potentially hazardous condition comprises another vehicle in the path of forward travel of the equipped vehicle;

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

    wherein, responsive to said control determining that a potentially hazardous condition exists in the path of forward travel of the equipped vehicle, said control generates an alert, and wherein said alert comprises at least one of (i) a visual indication and (ii) an audible indication;

    wherein said image sensor comprises part of an automatic headlamp control system of the equipped vehicle and wherein said image sensor comprises part of a lane departure warning system of the equipped vehicle; and

    wherein said control, responsive at least in part to processing by said image processor of captured image data and to an output of said radar sensor device, at least in part controls an adaptive cruise control system of the equipped vehicle.

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