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Daimler’s Accident-Prevention System Nominated for Prestigious Prize

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The 6D-Vision Team: Left to right:  Dr. Uwe Franke, Dr. Stefan Gehrig, Dr. Clemens Rabe

The 6D-Vision team (left to right): Dr. Uwe Franke, Dr. Stefan Gehrig, Dr. Clemens Rabe

A Daimler research team that developed an auto-accident-avoiding technology has been nominated for Germany’s most prestigious award for technical and scientific innovations. The German Future Prize (“Deutscher Zukunftspreis”) of €250,000 will be awarded to one of the three nominated teams on December 14 in Berlin by Germany’s federal president Christian Wulff.

The Daimler team’s 6D-Vision technology was created by Uwe Franke, Stefan Gehrig, and Clemens Rabe as part of their work in Daimler AG’s Research and Advance Development Department for Assistance Systems and Chassis Systems. The 6D-Vision system is able to recognize road hazards faster than a human can. The system’s computer works twice as fast as a human driver and takes safety measures to apply the brakes when it spots something moving to the side or in front of the car, coming to a stop more than one whole vehicle length sooner than if the driver had applied the brakes.

The system works by using algorithms to compute the three-dimensional geometry of anything that its stereo cameras see on the road. The cameras generate consecutive pairs of images which help to identify potential car accidents. In addition to using 6D-Vision technology in its own cars, Daimler plans to make the technology available to other car manufacturers.

Dr. Thomas Weber, a member of the Board of Management Daimler AG, said, “Road safety for all road users has always been a major area of focus and a core competence at Mercedes-Benz. The 6D-Vision project represents a milestone along the road to accident-free driving and will form the basis of our future safety systems.”

According to Daimler’s J. David,

The ‘Deutscher Zukunftspreis’ of the country’s Federal President has been awarded annually since 1997. As well as recognising scientific achievement, the award takes account of the marketability of a particular development. The award is given for projects that improve people’s lives, create new employment opportunities and sustain the country’s prosperity. Those organisations entitled to make nominations submit possible projects to an eminent jury made up of independent experts from both academia and industry. The jury then selects the three teams of researchers who, in their view, have the most innovative and marketable projects.

The two other teams nominated for the prize are The Technical University, Dresden, and its spin-offs Heliatek and Novaled, for their work in the low-cost generation of light and electrical energy through easy-to-produce organic materials; and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), alongside Azur Space and Soitec Solar, for concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology (which uses optics to concentrate a large amount of sunlight onto a small area of solar photovoltaic materials to generate electricity).

The following video shows Daimler’s 6D-Vision system in action:

Image by 6D-Vision, used under Fair Use: Reporting.


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