• Oct 12th 2007 at 7:28PM
  • 5
Spatially-challenged drivers rejoice! As previously reported, Nissan has developed a new parking assist system that employs four ultra-wide high-resolution cameras mounted in the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle to provide a bird's eye view of the vehicle's surroundings. All those images are processed and displayed in real-time on a dash-mounted screen, giving drivers a 360-degree view of what they don't want to hit.

Shifting the car into reverse or drive will alternate between a view of the front or rear, while drivers will be able to toggle the left, front and right views when performing a particularly tricky parallel parking maneuver.

The first application of Nissan's "Around View Monitor" in the U.S. will be in the Infiniti EX35, but we'd expect it to become a hot commodity on some of Nissan and Infiniti's more bloated SUV offerings soon.

Nissan's full press release, including a video, is posted after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]



TOKYO (Oct. 12, 2007) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd will introduce the world's first Around View Monitor, which offers the driver a bird's eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings in real-time. In Japan, the Around View Monitor will debut in the new Elgrand, scheduled for introduction at the end of this month. The technology will also be offered to the U.S. market on the all new Infiniti EX35 scheduled for launch this December.

The Around View Monitor system sythesises a bird's eye image of the vehicle and its surroundings from four ultrawide-angle (180-degree) high-resolution cameras mounted on the front, sides and rear of the vehicle. The Around View Monitor is particularly helpful when parking, enabling the driver to steer easily and precisely into a parking space.

The screen displays the view from above on the left, and a front or rear view on the right. The front and rear views alternate according to the gear shift. This allows the driver a comprehensive view of the vehicle and its surrounding environment from all angles.

The left side-view is offered with the rear view, allowing the driver to more easily observe both the rear and left-front when attempting to parallel-park. The driver has the option to choose between the top view and the left side-view.

The camera-enabled sensors mounted on all four corners of the vehicle depict the distance to an obstacle in easy-to-understand coloured graphics, and help warn the driver via a "beeping" alert the closer the vehicle approaches a fixed obstacle.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Do you have to drive a tall vehicle like a van for this to work? Because the version on the EX35 looks like crap. It fails to properly simulate a top-down view, and it fails by a mile.

      I'd love to have this feature, if it works as shown here.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Definitely would be useful in low-riding performance cars, where you can't see the hood of your car over your dash.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Think of what blocks your view while driving: the two A-pillars and the rear view mirror. A setup like "Around View" could eliminate these blind spots and make driving much safer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is step in the right direction, but why only use it for parking? Why not aim the cameras level (not down at the ground) and show me a 360 deg view (on the dash, "rear view mirror", or as a HUD) as I drive through traffic? No more blind spots, no more old people who can't turn their neck causing wrecks. It wouldn't be a nanny or a buzzer or something you're not sure if you can trust, as you would be able to see the results with your own eyes!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sweet technology and kudos to Nissan/Infiniti for bringing it to market first.

      Here's an interesting perspective on it... If you think about the way we control vehicles, turn a wheel to change direction, press a foot lever to go faster, another to slow down, possibly a third to decouple the engine from the wheels and transmission, and move a hand lever or other actuator to change direction or to control transmission ratios--it's all rather arbitrary.

      Of course it seems natural to all of us because we've been doing it for so long. Most probably even "trained" from only a few years old by playing video or playschool games and sitting in the family car when parked.

      But if you think of how you control a Matchbox car as kid, you're not thinking about levers, wheel, knobs, you just move it where you want it to go. And how do you look at things? Birds eye view. How would King Kong move our cars if he so chose to? The same way we would a Matchbox toy.

      Now if you extrapolate this to the camera views, imagine how you could maneuver your own car with one simple interface inside. If these overhead cameras could share data between vehicles (or even use Google Earth or some type of real-time satellite footage) one would be able to see far ahead in traffic to navigate, to anticipate exits and accidents, or to even avoid obstacles altogether. And lest you think this is all rather anti-enthusiast (what with the loss of shifter, pedals, wheel, etc.) imagine the going through a slalom with an overhead view. You could come within fractions of an inch of every cone, or on a track slice every apex perfectly.

      I don't know if this is the future of how we will travel, but it sure is interesting food for thought.

      Oh, and Nissan, that video is the most boring landscape I could imagine for a demonstration. An empty parking lot with the only visible obstacles being two white lines? You should be driving that thing through your local swap meet and every camera should be filled with garden gnomes, engine parts, old bicycles, tee shirts, and kids scarfing corndogs. Then you'll have something to watch.
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