One of the better trends to come to the feature lists of vehicles in the Philippines are 360-degree cameras. Depending on the brand, the set of cameras that output to a single screen goes under many names which depend on the brand. We find systems such as these to be one of the headliners for many cars that are on sale in the market.
While only reserved for top of the line models, the technology is already accessible enough to be incorporated into the lineup of mainstream brands. You can find this feature on everything from subcompact sedans and crossovers to big hulking SUVs across various segments.
What is a 360-degree camera?
It is essentially a live video feed of everything that surrounds a car. There are cameras scattered throughout a car’s body which can include the front grille, side mirrors, and rear trunk lid, which allow for the display of a live display of everything around a motor vehicle. The screen that usually displays these inputs will be the infotainment’s display. In some cases, the display for the monitor will be located in the rearview mirror.
How does it work?
Like a backup camera, 360-degree monitor systems are comprised of multiple cameras located in key areas where the driver would need to see what’s around him. These “eyes” all feed directly to the infotainment system once activated. The user can toggle the display on and off through a button or by putting the car into reverse gear.
Usually, the layout of the displays would depend on how the manufacturer designs its interface. There are systems that use simple illustrations which include a two-dimensional rendering of the car with video feeds surrounding it, or it can get more high-tech though the use of three-dimensional models. As to which of the two executions are better will depend on the user. Simple is generally better and easier to digest, while a level of complexity adds some wow factor and even some clarity. These video feeds are stitched together by software and then rendered live on the center display.
Some systems can even be activated through the use of parking sensors. When a sensor detects that there is an object nearby, it automatically the activates 360 feature. Similarly, automatic deactivation occurs when the vehicle reaches a certain speed.
What are the benefits?
The outright benefit is being able to see what’s around your car. Bigger vehicles benefit more from this feature, but in general, an around view of the car will allow you to park more accurately, and avoid small accidents going in and out of tight spaces.
Usually, drivers would estimate how far an object is from their car. The cameras take the guess work out of the task, and make navigating through tight spots a whole lot easier. It also allows for more precision, and coupled with parking sensors, the system become more intuitive and sensory to the user, incorporating not only sight, but sound as well.
The feature also is much better than using side mirrors and rear view mirrors, since you don’t get a top-down. Side mirrors can also only utilized in reverse, so the 360-degree camera opens up new perspectives for drivers to use, even when moving forward.
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