Daimler’s 6D Vision innovation is awarded the Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize

  • The new S-Class enjoys a perfectly clear view of the road
  • A further significant step on the way towards accident-free driving
  • ‘6D Vision’ technology for the Mercedes-Benz ‘Intelligent Drive’

6D Vision

On 26 November in Munich, Dr Uwe Franke, Dr Stefan Gehrig and Dr Clemens Rabe will be honored with the Karl Heinz Beckurts prize for the innovative ‘6D Vision’ safety system. The award acknowledges the outstanding achievements of Daimler’s research team in the field of stereo image processing and image recognition. This new vehicle technology rapidly and comprehensively identifies both the hazards and the complex traffic environments, and will soon be making a decisive contribution towards accident reduction.

“In future, all our fully networked and intelligent driver assistance systems will come under the name of Mercedes-Benz ‘Intelligent Drive’. For this purpose, ‘6D Vision’ is one of the basic technologies and represents a further milestone along the road towards accident-free driving,” said Professor Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Since ‘6D Vision’ can make a significant contribution towards reducing traffic accidents, we intend to make the technology accessible to other manufacturers. This means that there will continue to be a little piece of Mercedes-Benz in every car.”

Mercedes-Benz 6D

By developing ‘6D Vision’ technology, the three researchers and their colleagues have created a safety system which offers drivers the most effective support in very complex traffic situations where visibility is restricted, such as intersections and construction sites. In a fraction of a second, considerably more quickly than a human being, the car’s sensors are fully aware of what’s happening around them. They can recognise moving objects such as vehicles and pedestrians in the shortest possible time; they measure their position, direction of movement and speed and calculate their likely trajectories. If the situation becomes critical, the in-built assistance systems will then react rapidly and appropriately.

The system employs a stereocamera which captures in rapid succession images of the environment in front of the vehicle. The images are then analysed at lightning speed by an algorithm specifically developed for this purpose. Both the position and the movement of objects are determined in three dimensions; hence the name ‘6D Vision’ for this new system. The system will go into series production in 2013, making its debut in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Daimler’s research team had previously been nominated in 2011 for the ‘German Future Prize’ for this technology.

The Karl Heinz Beckurts foundation awards the prize annually in recognition of outstanding scientific and technical achievements which may be expected to provide the impetus for industrial innovation in Germany. The foundation was established in 1987 by the Hermann von Helmholz Association of German Research Centres. Its core activity is promoting partnerships between science and commerce.