Small helpers with big effects – part 2

Small helpers with big effects – part 2

Volkswagen Area view

A good all-round view is a prerequisite for safe parking. In parking situations, in particular, it is often difficult for drivers to get a comprehensive view around their entire vehicle. A small helper that produces big effects in such situations is Area View. A total of four cameras – installed at the rear, in the exterior mirrors and in the radiator grille – acquire images of the entire surroundings and project a live image in the cockpit display from a birds-eye perspective. The driver can see other views according to the specific traffic situation and the purpose. This makes it easy to recognise potential obstacles in a timely way.

A typical scenario for the extended use area of Area View includes courtyard entrances, garages and tight parking spaces

Visualisation of lateral distances to obstacles makes it easy to avoid minor scrapes and dents.

Area View also enables the driver to literally look “around the corner”. That is because the camera in the radiator grille is located far forward, and it can acquire images of the zones to the left and right sooner and better. It shows a live image of approaching cross traffic on the display before the driver can even see it.

While the front camera is in the radiator grille, the rear camera is in the Volkswagen logo or is into the rear lid handle. Small cameras in the exterior mirrors round out the innovative system. Here’s how it works: the wide-angle cameras scan the area around the vehicle, within system limits, so that it sees also the “blind spot”.

VolkswagenThe Area View system was first installed in the Volkswagen Touareg

The all-round view is implemented by four cameras which are inconspicuously integrated into the vehicle. Each camera has an aperture angle of 190 degrees, and the system acquires the entire vehicle surroundings. By way of comparison: the visual field of a human – when looking in a relaxed, straight-ahead manner – is only around 175 degrees. The images of each individual camera are compiled into an all-round view of the vehicle that is shown in the display.

The Rear View system enables a view behind the vehicle, thereby indicating whether the rear zone is clear. For the first time in the Golf Mk 6, when reverse gear is engaged, the rear camera mounted in the hinged Volkswagen logo is automatically activated. The lines showing the driving path on the display offer additional orientation. They are shown differently for different systems and are based on the steering wheel angle. For instance, the system can also assist in coupling a trailer to the vehicle by showing a driving line to the towing bracket on the camera image in the trailer view, so that the driver can guide the vehicle precisely to it. Pinpoint accuracy in steering and avoiding obstacles is also easy in reverse gear.

At a glance – the development of assistance systems for parking

1997 – First park distance control system with four ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper

2005 – Park distance control, front and rear

2006 – World’s first parking assistant (Park Assist)

2008 – First use of Rear View (Golf Mk 6; behind the hinged Volkswagen logo)

2010 – First use of ‘Area View’ area monitoring system, Optical Parking System (OPS), Park Assist 2.0

2012 – 360-degree OPS

2012 – Park Assist 2.0 with perpendicular parking

2014 – Area View, 2nd generation

2015 – Park Assist 3.0