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Frame-by-Frame: U.S. patent approved for self-calibrating, multi-camera AV driving system

Toronto, Ontario — A recently approved patent developed by a Boston, Mass. startup could have some fairly unique implications on an already turbulent calibration landscape, as NODAR has put together a self-calibrating, multi-camera AV driving system.

NODAR said the system, called “Hammerhead 3D Vision,” can compare images from each camera and triangulate the distance to every pixel in the scene, in real-time, at a distance of up to 1,000 meters.

“Not only is the range of the system unprecedented in the industry, but Hammerhead also provides ultra-precise range measurements and has been proven to detect obstacles as small as 10 centimeters at 150 meters from the car,” the company said.

“Together, Hammerhead’s long-range and precise distance measurement capabilities provide the vehicle with the time and assurance to make safe routing decisions.”

Perhaps most of note to repairers, is that “factory calibration of the system is not needed, and manual calibration during regular operation is not needed, thus simplifying manufacturing of the system,” the company said in its patent application.

U.S. Patent No. 11,282,234, or the “Non-Rigid Stereo Vision Camera System,” makes use of high-performance 3D computer vision software to co-ordinate between the system’s multiple cameras.

Using industry standard hardware, this technology “make[s] self-driving far safer for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in SAE L2+ and L3 passenger vehicles, as well as L4 autonomous trucks and robotaxis,” NODAR said in a news release.

The company believes that the technology “will accelerate the adoption of autonomous vehicles, and specifically that will make higher levels of autonomy, Level 2 or above, accessible to vehicles at all price points,” said NODAR founder and CEO Leaf Jiang.

According to co-founder and COO Brad Rosen, NODAR is “in talks with several tier one providers as well as global OEMs about integrating our technology.”

“The NODAR system marks a significant step toward safer autonomous driving,” said board member Klaus Kompass, an automotive safety expert and former v-p of vehicle safety at BMW, in a statement.

“Extremely accurate long-range sensing enables AVs to detect obstacles that other systems would miss. Most importantly, it detects dangerous objects at such a distance that even trucks traveling at highway speeds would have plenty of time to avoid a collision. It’s an advance that could undoubtedly save lives.”

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