Forward facing sensing system for vehicle

  • US 9,335,411 B1
  • Filed: 01/25/2016
  • Issued: 05/10/2016
  • 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;

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

    an image sensor disposed within the interior cabin of the equipped vehicle behind the vehicle windshield and wherein said image sensor views forward of the equipped vehicle through the vehicle windshield;

    wherein said image sensor comprises a pixelated imaging array sensor comprising a plurality of photo-sensing pixels;

    a control comprising an image processor, said image processor 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 image processor comprises an image processing chip that processes image data captured by said image sensor utilizing object detection software;

    wherein said control, responsive at least in part to processing of captured image data by said image processor and to sensing by said radar sensor, 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 at least one of (i) a pedestrian in the path of forward travel of the equipped vehicle and (ii) a deer 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 determination of existence of the potentially hazardous condition in the path of forward travel of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said radar sensor device and said image sensor share, at least in part, common circuitry;

    wherein said radar sensor device and said image sensor are housed in a self-contained unit disposed behind and attached at the vehicle windshield of the equipped vehicle, and wherein said self-contained unit mounts at the vehicle windshield of the equipped vehicle and is removable therefrom as a unit for at least one of service and replacement; and

    wherein said control at least in part controls an adaptive cruise control system of the equipped vehicle.

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