These 2 Features Are Coming to Car Radio

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Technology is now under development to allow aftermarket car radios to offer Augmented Reality and to become full-fledged ADAS blind spot detection and safety systems.

Augmented Reality might let you enter a parking garage and get a birds’ eye view on the car radio screen of where the empty parking spaces lie.

In fact, one of the first uses of Augmented Reality (AR) in navigation will be released by the end of the year in the Mercedes MBUX system developed along with Harman.

Harman is also busy readying this technology so that it could be used by aftermarket car radio and Heads Up Display makers, Mike Tzamaloukas, Harman VP Navigation told CEoutlook.

In the Mercedes MBUX, Augmented Reality will allow the navigation screen to display names of key businesses on your route or other points of interest, along with addresses.   In the future, it might display an arrow showing what lane the car should enter in a highway interchange.

But Augmented Reality doesn’t work in a vacuum. It requires advanced computer processing which Tzamaloukas believes will also eventually enter aftermarket car radios.

In the future high end car radios will also be able to process Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) blind spot detection, lane departure warning and collision avoidance when used with a camera/sensor package.

Today, dealers must cobble these features together from different suppliers, where future high end car radios will have the ability to offer all of these features with like-branded cameras and sensors, said executives at Kenwood, Epsilon and Harman.

Epsilon’s Paul Goldberg says some of that technology already exists, it is just a matter of making it cost effective.

Kenwood is already taking steps toward putting driver safety in car radios, offering a dash cam with driver safety features that can work with Kenwood car radios. Kenwood Director of Sales for Car Electronics Rob Sutton said, “We added backup cameras a decade ago and backup cameras are still really prevalent in our industry now.  We’ve got DRV and some driver safety features, and radar in addition to the backup camera [in the radio]. So we’re constantly adding pieces to the head unit. It only makes sense that blind spot detection and multiple cameras will work their way in.”

Once you add more powerful processing to car radios, said Harman’s Tzamaloukas, the car radio will be able to handle lane departure warning, blind spot detection and other processes that use computer vision and neural network processing.  “You have the ability to detect motion intention; you are able to see where a pedestrian is about to cross in a crosswalk where there’s no traffic light, so you can warn someone to stop.  There’s a blend of capabilities, not just AR.  AR is just the user experience front end. In the backend there’s safety …” he added.


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