Improved safety thanks to the Bird-View-System
Driving a city bus and seeing more at a glance: the core aim of the sub-project 'Cognitive assistance' is to provide situation-specific support to the driver. The researchers are working on developing a system whereby the driver can view the whole of the vehicle environment on a monitor.
"Drivers are faced with particular challenges in their working environment," says Walter Schwertberger. "The main difficulties are stops, crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, bottlenecks, two-way traffic and lane changes."
Naturally, having a better overview of their surroundings makes things easier for drivers – and this in turn leads to improved safety in urban traffic. All this is made possible by the Bird-View-System, which displays a bird's eye view of the vehicle environment. Six cameras are used to supply images for 360-degree detection. The computer converts these into an overall image which it displays to the driver.
Development engineer Michael Reule explains: "To make the image as clear as possible, it is projected onto a three-dimensional structure, known as a bowl. This means that the driving scene can be viewed from any angle and minimises distortions in perspective."
A focus on people
It is important never to forget that technologies are made for people. That's why it is so important for them to be involved right from the start. Even with all the possibilities of intelligent automation for driving, people still have a key role to play.
Assistance systems – such as the Green Wave Assistant – have access to information the driver does not have. And that is precisely why it is so important to explain these systems to drivers in detail and to create transparency by providing them with suitable information. Because only when these 'useful electronic helpers' are fully understood can they be optimally used.
As a media specialist and PhD student at the Technical University of Munich working on the sub-project 'The individual driver', Sonja Stockert often collaborates with test drivers. The drivers' feedback is very important to her. The professionals know best which information and support they need when driving. This gives the research a practical orientation. To help individual drivers. To help MAN succeed.