Keeping Cameras Clean

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One of the issues related to cameras like those of a rear-view, or backup, variety, which are mounted in the decklid or rear fascia, is that because they are exposed to the elements, they get dirty. And a dirty lens is problematic, as are lenses that are, say, covered with snow or ice.

In 2018, all new vehicles in the U.S. are going to be equipped with rear-view cameras, so while that is a good thing from a safety standpoint, it only makes the matter of blurred views all the greater.
In addition to which, an increasing number of vehicles are offering “surround view,” which is based on deploying not only a camera in the back, but also in the front grille, and on the undersides of the side-view mirrors. These, too, are exposed to the elements.

Continental Corp. (continental-corporation.com) has come up with a solution. It is a cleaning system that uses a water jet to clean the fisheye lenses that are used for these cameras.

There is a reservoir that contains the fluid—water with antifreeze, so that it won’t freeze on the lens—that is connected by tubes to a nozzle that is directly at the side of the lens. The camera can determine if the lens is dirty so it can automatically initiate a cleaning cycle: the water is squirted—at 2.0 to 4.5 bar (this is OEM selectable)—across the surface of the lens to remove any debris.

As Matthias Matic, head of the Hydraulic Brake Systems business unit at Continental, puts it, "Technologies that are up and running at all times are the only way to prevent accidents. Our camera cleaning system makes an important contribution to achieving our vision of accident-free driving—our Vision Zero.”