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Multi-camera ECU platform helps pave the way to safer driving technology

Rhonda Software, a close Ambarella design partner, has launched a multi-channel electronic control unit (ECU) platform that aims to boost the development of smart automotive solutions. The platform, called the Ambarella CV2 ECU, features six camera inputs and a single Ambarella CV2 SoC that can run multiple neural networks (NN). It was designed to build on intelligent surround monitoring technology, blind spot detection, and complex rear view systems that are implemented in commercial light and heavy ground vehicles. 

It can be challenging for vans and trucks to manoeuvre on intersections, while motorcycle or bicycle drivers are the most frequent casualties in traffic accidents, according to the firm.

Drivers can also require extra assistance when merging or changing lanes on the motorway.

Non-profit research institutes and independent safety assessment associations draw attention to risks such as these, and encourage the implementation of the latest deep learning algorithms that are meant to prevent the collision of vehicles with surrounding cars, pedestrians, and objects. 

Using object detection and tracking algorithms, drivers can be notified about potential risks. With long short-term memory algorithms, unnecessary frequent alarms can be prevented. With human body skeletonization algorithms, AI can detect signs of distraction from cyclists and pedestrians, and estimate their intent to cross the road. NN-based semantic segmentation can be useful for free space detection on an adjacent lane.

Running multiple smart camera functionalities, especially semantics segmentation, can be computationally expensive, and is one of the major concerns of computer vision (CV) developers. This is why Rhonda Software chose the Ambarella CV2 SoC to be the core hardware element of the ECU, the firm says. 

The Ambarella CV2 SoC has the capacity to run several neural networks for different smart applications while being a multi-camera solution. 

The current ECU feature set includes:

  • Rhonda CV2A SoM (based on Ambarella SoC)
  • Up to 6 GMSL2 cameras
  • 12V/24V power with car battery discharge protection
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
  • HDMI out
  • CAN bus
  • USB host and device interfaces
  • External GNSS / GPS module support
  • External microphone and speaker support 

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