Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The expanding role of machine vision

With its recent rebranding, from “Machine Vision Online” to just “Vision Online”, the Automated Imaging Association acknowledged that machine vision is rapidly moving outside the factory environment. One of the fastest growth areas is Intelligent Traffic Systems, which is why I’ve taken to reading Traffic Technology International magazine.

The January 2012 edition has a couple of articles, with associated sidebar content, that ought to interest all you machine vision professionals out there. First off, there’s “Visual Appeal” which explores how camera vendors familiar to us industrial types – AVT, Point Grey, and SVS-Vistek among others – are extending their offerings into the traffic market.

Second, “Smart Thinking” delves into the rapidly evolving field of autonomous vehicles. Lane departure warning, blind spot warning and collision detection systems are fast becoming commonplace (if you have the budget for the fancy vehicles they’re found in,) but BMW and Continental are working on the next step: vehicles that can take over actual driving duties.

The article covers some of the barriers to be addressed before we all become passengers in our cars. Interestingly enough, it seems the major hurdle is actually legislative rather than technical: apparently the Vienna Convention bans fully automated driving. Maybe someone should tell Google.

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