Vehicular imaging system comprising an imaging device with a single image sensor and image processor for determining a totally blocked state or partially blocked state of the single image sensor as well as an automatic correction for misalignment of the imaging device

  • US 9,972,100 B2
  • Filed: 04/23/2015
  • Issued: 05/15/2018
  • Est. Priority Date: 08/17/2007
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A vehicular imaging system comprising:

  • an imaging device comprising a single imaging sensor;

    said single imaging sensor comprising a plurality of photosensor pixels;

    said imaging device mounted at a vehicle equipped with said vehicular imaging system and having a field of view exterior of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said field of view exterior of the equipped vehicle encompasses a scene forward of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said imaging device is disposed in the equipped vehicle behind the windshield of the equipped vehicle and views through a portion of the windshield;

    wherein said portion of the windshield comprises a portion cleaned by a windshield wiper of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said imaging device comprises a CMOS imaging device;

    said single imaging sensor of said imaging device capturing image data within said field of view;

    wherein a control within the equipped vehicle receives image data captured by said single imaging sensor;

    said control comprising an image processor;

    wherein said control receives vehicle data via a communication bus of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein, responsive at least in part to image processing by said image processor of image data captured by said single imaging sensor, said control detects converging road features along the road the equipped vehicle is travelling and determines a point of intersection where said converging road features would converge;

    wherein, responsive at least in part to image processing by said image processor of image data captured by said single imaging sensor, said control automatically corrects for misalignment of said imaging device mounted at the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said automatic correction for misalignment of said imaging device mounted at the equipped vehicle comprises, at least in part, at least one of (i) said determination by said control of where said converging road features would converge and (ii) said control comparing an imaged location of an object present in the field of view of said single imaging sensor to an expected location of said object, wherein the imaged location is determined by image processing by said image processor of image data captured by said single imaging sensor and wherein the expected location is determined responsive to vehicle data carried to said control via said communication bus;

    wherein (a) said control concludes that said single imaging sensor is totally blocked when, over a plurality of frames of image data captured by said single imaging sensor, processing of image data by said image processor determines that the count of bright pixels remains below a threshold and (b) said control concludes that said single imaging sensor is partially blocked by said image processor performing region-based image processing to take into account intensity variations in different regions of said single imaging sensor; and

    wherein, responsive to determination of either total blockage or partial blockage, said control adapts image processing by said image processor of image data captured by said single imaging sensor to accommodate the determined total blockage or partial blockage of said single imaging sensor.

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