Technology intended for autonomous vehicles is being harnessed to help study the deep. Nissan is providing its Around View Monitor (AVM) technology to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and robot-crawler manufacturer Topy to help uncover the mysteries of the oceans.
The intention is to boost the government agency’s ability to search deep underwater for natural resources using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). In the same way as it does on land, Nissan’s AVM technology will help ROV operators avoid obstacles and navigate the ocean seafloor more easily.
AVM is one of the base technologies for Nissan’s autonomous drive vehicles. Nissan aims to bring these market by 2020. The AVM tech is not new, though. Introduced in 2007, it provides a virtual 360-degree overview of a car from a bird’s-eye view as pictured from above. Nissan says that the technology helps drivers visually confirm the vehicle’s position relative to parking spaces and adjacent objects and manoeuvre into parking spots more easily. Nissan added Moving Object Detection (MOD) technology to AVM in 2011 and continues to develop other associated safety technologies.
The ROVs being tested by JAMSTEC and Topy include a version of Nissan AVM that features three-dimensional picture processing capability. The AVM 3D function is combined with the ROV’s camera to improve measurement of distances on the ocean floor. Operators, controlling the ROVs aboard mother ships are given an overhead real-time bird’s-eye view of the remote vehicle and its immediate surroundings.
To find out more about AVM technology, see this video.