Carnegie Mellon University
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Driver Awareness (DACD)
This project is no longer active.
Contact: Thomas Gordon
Mailing address:
National Robotics Engineering Center
10 40th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Associated center(s) / consortia:
 National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC)
Project Homepage
The Driver Awareness and Change Detection (DACD) system fuses panoramic video and laser range scans with global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation system (INS) positioning data to create a detailed, three-dimensional view of a vehicle’s surroundings. Screens mounted in the dashboard and front seat area give driver and passenger a two-dimensional panoramic view and a three-dimensional, 360° view of the terrain around the vehicle.

The system can overlay its colorized laser scans onto satellite images and topographic maps and show time-lapse images of moving vehicles and people. Soldiers can also add map annotations to identify locations of interest. Data from each traverse is recorded for later playback and can be compared to the current image.

DACD improves drivers’ situational awareness and helps them to spot changes in their surroundings that indicate potential danger (such as explosives planted along a road). It assists with driving at night and on unimproved roads in hazardous terrain. It can also be used for mission rehearsal and training.