Hitachi Automotive Systems announced that it has developed technology for its in-vehicle stereo cameras that enables highly accurate detection of small road surface irregularities while driving, including holes and small debris.

Moving forward, by combining this detection technology with vehicle suspension systems, the company plans to develop a drive control system that can adjust vehicle stability in response to road surface conditions. The company expects that this development will, in turn, contribute to improved driving safety and comfort.

Hitachi Automotive Systems’ in-vehicle stereo cameras can reportedly sense the distance and location of people and objects, such as pedestrians and other vehicles, to a high degree of accuracy by calculating parallax information—the difference between the images obtained by the two left and right cameras—with extreme precision. However, to detect irregularities and small debris on a road, the company says it had to overcome the challenges of preventing false positives caused by dirt and shadows on the road surface in addition to overcoming the challenge of the reduction of detection processing time.

Hitachi says it has developed an application that addresses these challenges. The application leverages the unique characteristics of Hitachi’s stereo cameras, which continuously acquire precise parallax information while also combining and analyzing image information. Going forward, Hitachi Automotive Systems plans to further develop this drive control system that combines detection technologies with suspension systems to adjust driving stability to match the particular road surface.