Toyota's Crown Hybrid Lets You See in the Dark

May 31, 2008 by Lisa Zyga weblog
In the Night View´s pedestrian recognition system, yellow frames are displayed around the pedestrians and the entire image.

Considering that nighttime driving is often the most dangerous, the new Toyota Crown Hybrid could help make the roads safer by giving drivers a kind of nocturnal vision.

The newest Crown Hybrid model, released in May 2008, features an updated "Night View" system that displays a view of the road at night, including pedestrians. While the previous Night View display appeared on the windshield and overlapped with the real view ahead, the new model incorporates the display on an LCD meter located on the dashboard just above the steering wheel.

With the device, drivers can see the upcoming twists and turns on a dark road beyond the area of the car´s headlights. Its sensors can also recognize pedestrians in or near the road, who are displayed as one of a number of prepared pedestrian images that most closely matches their shape. When the system detects a pedestrian, a yellow box highlights their location on the LCD display. A yellow frame also appears on the entire screen to attract the driver´s attention.

The LCD meter has a 1280 x 480 resolution, and works at speeds of between 15 and 60 kph (10 and 40 mph) - at higher speeds, the process circuit has difficult recognizing pedestrians. In addition to speed, rainy conditions and extreme levels of darkness also affect the pedestrian detection function, and can force the function to shut off.

At the request of a number of users, Toyota may also add a feature that recognizes bicyclists and animals in a future model. Currently, the LCD meter adds significant cost to the car, but Toyota hopes to reduce the cost in the future, as well as include the display in other vehicle models.

via: Nikkei

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User comments : 18

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paulo
3.7 / 5 (3) May 31, 2008
yay.

but where's my electric car, toyota?
nilbud
1 / 5 (7) May 31, 2008
Electric cars destroy the environment. What do you think happens to used up batteries?
Soylent
4.8 / 5 (5) May 31, 2008
What do you think happens to used up batteries?


Lithium ion batteries aren't like garbage(plastic bottles, glass bottles), which you have to pay people to recycle; lithium ion batteries are a resource, like copper, which people will pay to take off your hands.

If for some reason you feel like throwing away money and dumping the batteries in a ditch or something; well so what? There's nothing particularly toxic in them.
Nikola
4.5 / 5 (4) May 31, 2008
Kinda cool as a first attempt. It'll be very impressive when the entire windshield can double as a highres display showing thermal/infrared imagery.
jrmontag
5 / 5 (4) May 31, 2008
yeah, why would you want the display below the windshield and not overlaid (heads-up style)? seems like taking your eyes off the road to look at a little yellow box would be more dangerous for the person who's actually in the little yellow box.
zerttrez
not rated yet May 31, 2008
true, but if you can't see outside at all, then what would be the harm of seeing it through the dashboard?
gopher65
2.6 / 5 (5) May 31, 2008
A lot of current hybrids use lead-acid batteries, which is what nilbud is talking about. Those ancient PoS batteries do indeed destroy the environment, and they are often not properly disposed of.

You can't make a full electric car with LA batteries though, so that isn't really a big issue.
paulo
3 / 5 (4) May 31, 2008
Wrong on both counts gopher.
There is already a massive amount of Lead Acid Battery recycling infrastructure in place, and yes, you can in fact make a full electric car from LABs,,,, people have been doing it for years.
paulo
3 / 5 (2) May 31, 2008
...and I think you'll find that all the Hybrids on the market use Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries.

they are all recyclable.

Sealed Lead Acid batteries have been the battery of choice for budget diy electric car conversion for a long time now....

...but back on topic, yes, this display should be heads-up.

TJ_alberta
5 / 5 (2) May 31, 2008
an alarm for deer on the road at night would be very helpful out here.
gopher65
5 / 5 (1) Jun 01, 2008
k, let me rephrase. You can't make an ACCEPTABLE electric car that can travel 1000 km between recharging with lead acid batteries. If all you want is to take your golf-cart ZENN down to the grocery store then long-cycle lead acid batteries are fine (it uses 6, and has a max range of ~35 km). For REAL driving, you need real batteries, and those ancient lead acid crappers don't cut it.
paulo
3 / 5 (2) Jun 01, 2008
oh i totally agree, lead sucks, but it's all most folks can afford without the benefit of the mass production / bulk purchasing power of a large car company... but have a troll through www.evalbum.com and see if there's anything that meets your fancy. i could only see one Zenn, though, the rest seem to be fairly normal rides.

funny that we should talking about lead acid in the same sentence as electric car in 2008, so let me rephrase...

where's my Lithium Iron Phosphate / Lithium Nano Titanate / Ultracapacitor powered car, Toyota?
gopher65
not rated yet Jun 01, 2008
"where's my Lithium Iron Phosphate / Lithium Nano Titanate / Ultracapacitor powered car, Toyota?"

That's more like it;).

http://www.evalbum.com/1757 Even packing a car full of Lithium-Ion batteries can't give it decent range:(. We really need a breakthrough in energy storage tech. I'm hoping (not *hopeful*) that something like EEStor will work, but I'm not holding my breath.
paulo
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 01, 2008
Don't hold your breath,,, because the the answer is D: All of the above...

lithium battery / ultracapacitor / tiny internal combustion engine generator for added range...

http://www.worldc...ric-mini

640 bhp!!!!!!!!!!
1500 km autonomy!!!!
0-60 in 4.5 seconds!!!!

no sci fi maybe in The Future technology here...

screw big oil, I'm getting one of these.

mrlewish
not rated yet Jun 02, 2008
Cadillac had a similar thing years ago. Turns out it's a huge liability. Think about it.. if your driving one of these things you can see them but they can't see you. You will of course be driving faster because you can see more and they will either walk or pull out in front of you because they are driving or walking at the appropriate speed for their preceived environment. Bang!
lengould100
not rated yet Jan 14, 2009
I thought that's why headlghts were invented.
Falcon
not rated yet Jan 14, 2009
yeah, why would you want the display below the windshield and not overlaid (heads-up style)? seems like taking your eyes off the road to look at a little yellow box would be more dangerous for the person who's actually in the little yellow box.
Its cheaper than putting it on the windshield and they want to be able to mass-market.
Velanarris
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2009
Don't hold your breath,,, because the the answer is D: All of the above...

lithium battery / ultracapacitor / tiny internal combustion engine generator for added range...

http://www.worldc...ric-mini

640 bhp!!!!!!!!!!
1500 km autonomy!!!!
0-60 in 4.5 seconds!!!!

no sci fi maybe in The Future technology here...

screw big oil, I'm getting one of these.


Not so fast, make sure the company that developed the tech is still in existance. Which if this is licensed off of the Tesla Motorcar tech, it's not.

Secondly 160 bhp per wheel is not 640bhp, then again to move a car that small and light from 0-60 in 4.5 you'd only need about 200 bhp.

As for the night vision windshield, anyone remembre that pontiac they were trying to sell in the 80's that had a NV windshield? Ended up never comming to market because the burst into flames on ignition about 80% of the time.

If anyone gets this system to be full windshield it'll be Mercedez, and it will show up on an SLK 10 years before you see it anywhere else.

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