Automotive camera connectivity is a significant cost addition for camera applications, but it enables new safety and comfort features. The latest market research
estimates each vehicle will have an average of four cameras1 by 2024 as the market responds to consumer and regulatory demands. New applications such as surround
view monitoring (SVM), driver status monitoring (DSM), and drive recording are at the forefront of this explosion in camera technology. SVM and rear-view cameras enable safer parking. DSM cameras are used to monitor the driver’s position and eye movements to detect and prevent driver distraction. Drive recording cameras are used to record accidents. DSM and drive recording cameras are mandated in UN regulations on automated lane keeping systems2 (ALKS), which came into force in January 2021. More than 60 countries have adopted ALKS, which utilizes Level 3 vehicle automation (autonomous features that require the driver to be able to resume driving when requested) to keep the vehicle within its driving lane. DSM is also a fundamental requirement of the Euro NCAP 2020 assisted driving rating system.3 The automotive manufacturing industry is already one of the most heavily indebted4 and lowest margin industries globally. The challenge for the industry is how to provide the required camera performance without adding significant cost.
SVM camera systems provide a 360° view around the outside of a car when parking. These systems help decrease the risk of low speed accidents, particularly with pedestrians and blind pedestrians. Up to 70% of vehicles will have SVM installed in Asian countries where congested streets and small parking spaces make parking especially difficult. SVM is a great example of a camera application that saves lives and creates a first-rate driving experience. SVM also makes an interesting case study for the performance-cost analysis of automotive camera systems. Each SVM system uses four cameras to create the panoramic view. HD cameras often use coax cables, which are expensive, heavy, and difficult to route through small spaces. SVMs using coax cable harnesses require expensive coax connectors, resulting in several million dollars of additional system costs to automotive OEMs. The industry is faced with a significant question: what video interface from the camera provides the optimized cost point?