Feb 23, 2022

Improve design and validation workflows for automotive cameras

Category: Product News
Simulation shows how an ADAS camera sees the world in clear daylight (left), daylight fog (right, top) and night light (right, bottom).

Figure 1. Simulation shows how an ADAS camera sees the world in clear daylight (left), daylight fog (right, top) and night light (right, bottom).

The automotive market has seen a steadily increasing demand for autonomous vehicles (AV) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Camera-based sensors are critical to the safe development of these and other, related automotive technologies. To ensure that these sensors operate in various environments while keeping up with the demands of the automotive market, engineers need a workflow that can quickly and accurately test, validate, and iterate the sensor's optical design. 

But engineering workflows can all too easily get bogged down by issues like siloed data, intellectual property (IP) vulnerabilities, and design complexity. These challenges slow the time to market, balloon budgets, and hinder collaboration between suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The Ansys SPEOS lens system importer, created in a partnership between Ansys and Zemax, an Ansys company, is designed to streamline workflows while protecting IP. The SPEOS lens importer is an end-to-end solution for camera testing and validation that merges the component-level design, modeling, and simulation capabilities of Zemax OpticStudio® with the modeling, simulation, analysis and visualization benefits of SPEOS.

"Combining the Ansys simulation portfolio with optical design tools from Zemax will save automotive customers valuable time and resources," said Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager at Ansys. "As we move towards a future of autonomous vehicles, drivers will benefit from efficient cameras that can identify hazards at night or in adverse weather conditions. This technology collaboration represents an important step forward for the industry."

Streamlining optical design workflows in Zemax and SPEOS

Using the SPEOS lens system importer, engineers can bring any camera lens design from the Zemax industry-leading optical design software, OpticStudio, into SPEOS simulation software. The system can be transferred as a "black box" so that IP is protected without limiting the simulation analysis.

How the Ansys SPEOS lens system importer works with Zemax OpticStudio®.

Figure 2. How the Ansys SPEOS lens system importer works with Zemax OpticStudio®.

"Ansys offers the automated execution of simulation plans to solve complex problems in the design of autonomous vehicles," said Konrad Rothenhäusler, a designer and Six Sigma Coach in the ADAS business unit at Continental AG. "The end-to-end optical testing solution from Ansys and Zemax enables us to exchange optical transfer functions – which determines the quality of the projected image – while protecting our sensitive design data. This workflow will empower our team to explore new camera designs faster, cheaper and with less risk."

The SPEOS lens system importer workflow reduces camera perception simulation time from hours to minutes while also protecting lens supplier IP throughout the workflow.

"Optical technology is driving autonomous vehicle innovation by providing the all-round visibility that enables the car to react to its environment," said S. Subbiah, former Zemax CEO. "But the successful development of these sensors is increasingly competitive as costs continue to rise and timelines shrink. Our collaboration with Ansys bridges the gap between optical and mechanical engineers as they explore sensor designs."

To learn more about Zemax optical design software capabilities, request a free trial