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International Journal of Vehicular Technology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 123231, 9 pages
Research Article

Bifocal Stereoscopic Vision for Intelligent Vehicles

1Department of Agrarian Technology and Mechanisation, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Camino de Vera, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1304 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Received 28 November 2008; Revised 5 February 2009; Accepted 13 February 2009

Academic Editor: Rakesh Mishra

Copyright © 2009 Francisco Rovira-Más et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The numerous benefits of real-time 3D awareness for autonomous vehicles have motivated the incorporation of stereo cameras to the perception units of intelligent vehicles. The availability of the distance between camera and objects is essential for such applications as automatic guidance and safeguarding; however, a poor estimation of the position of the objects in front of the vehicle can result in dangerous actions. There is an emphasis, therefore, in the design of perception engines that can make available a rich and reliable interval of ranges in front of the camera. The objective of this research is to develop a stereo head that is capable of capturing 3D information from two cameras simultaneously, sensing different, but complementary, fields of view. In order to do so, the concept of bifocal perception was defined and physically materialized in an experimental bifocal stereo camera. The assembled system was validated through field tests, and results showed that each stereo pair of the head excelled at a singular range interval. The fusion of both intervals led to a more faithful representation of reality.