Reliable Architecture of an Embedded Stereo Vision System for a Low Cost Autonomous Vehicle


In the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, five vehicles completed a preset course of 210 kilometers through desert dirt roads, completely driven by onboard automatic systems. This major achievement was accompanied by great progress of other vehicles which participated too but did not complete the course due to various reasons. The automatic vehicle RASCAL is one example of these vehicles: with its on-board autonomous capabilities, it reached a distance of 25.7 autonomously driven kilometers. One of the sensors implemented on RASCAL was a low-cost embedded stereo vision system. This dependable embedded system was based on a DSP platform and employed a novel software framework to guarantee reliable operations in the desert. This paper provides an overview on that particular subsystem.