International automotive supplier Continental has reportedly been developing a stereo camera system that can help reduce injuries and accidents due to people being hit by cars. The company states that in Germany, for example, about half of all accidents that cause serious injury and death typically involve pedestrians. As such, they have developed a system that utilizes two high-resolution cameras that are placed approximately 20 centimeters apart behind the windshield.
According to the official press release, the stereo camera then measures the distance to an object and its height from the road surface. If the system detects something in front of the car, it will automatically perform an emergency stop. Single cameras, by comparison, can only see the person in front, but are unable to accurately measure their distance from the car and their height. If the pedestrian is too close to the car and/or sudden braking is not a safe option, the system will work to find an alternative course of evasive action.
Continental states they are still developing the system to enable it to detect small children and claim they are getting closer to a production version.