ADAS shifting from Monocular to Stereo Camera system

ADAS principally consists of sub-systems and features that work independently or are combined to offer assistance that is not only confined to safety but spans over comfort and convenience features as well. The ADAS landscape is ever-changing with continuous changes produced by the advances in automotive and non-automotive electronics, along with the arrival of smart and enhanced algorithms that are continually in search of near-human intelligence. This has led to a modification from monocular cameras to stereo cameras, which earlier transited from radar-based to camera-based systems.

The next engineering frontier, and some say the most thought-provoking for the technology community, is real-time machine vision and intelligence. The applications contain and in fact most of the times exceed real-time medical analytics-based surgical robots and cars that are driven with autonomous intelligence. Cameras in particular, and stereo vision in general, is the basis for safe autonomous cars that can actually ‘see and drive’ themselves, certainly a modern day revolution. If we have a single camera sensor mounted and capturing video that needs to be processed and examined, that system is called a monocular (single-eyed) system. A system with two cameras, separated from each other is called a stereo-vision system. The below shown table describes briefly the advantages of a stereo camera system over a monocular camera in ADAS systems.

Comparison parameterMono camera systemStereo camera system

Number of image sensors, lenses and assembly


Physical size of the system

Small (6” x 4” x 1”)

Two small assemblies separated by 25-30 cm distance

Frame rate

30 frames per second

30 frames per second

Image processing requirements



Reliability of detecting obstacles and emergency braking decisions



System is reliable for

Object detection (lanes, pedestrians, traffic signs)

Object detection AND calculate distance-to-object

System cost



Software and algorithm complexityHigh



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