Driverless or autonomous cars need extraordinary senses, and for the most part they tend to have them in form of ultrasound, radar, lidar, near-infrared including others. But regular cameras, often overshadowed in favour of other exciting technologies, are a crucial part given they collect data that is used to read messages on road signs.
Now Sony has introduced a new camera sensor that is designed to boost the camera vision. The new IMX324 is priced at $90 and has an effective resolution of 7.42MP, which sounds like a regular smartphone camera or lower, but with three times the vertical resolution of most car cameras.
The camera is capable of seeing road signs from 160 metres away and has low-light sensitivity that allows it to see pedestrians in dark situations, and offers a trick that captures dark sections at high sensitivity but bright sections at high resolution in order to max out image recognition.
Expecting a beefed-up camera to eliminate the need for other sensors will be asking for too much. Even with strong low-light capabilities, cameras don’t perform well in the dark and are unable to offer the precise ranging abilities of other sensors. This also means lidar and radar will continue to be crucial for optical cameras.