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Passenger side camera - see curb and hidden obstacles

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by DITB, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    After getting infected by "curb rash" on both off-side wheels, I now also hit a small block to make you avoid parking along the curb. Annoyingly so low you cannot see it in the mirrors, I think these parking lot attendants do that on purpose just to "teach you a lesson". Why not have POLES or something, so you can actually SEE where they are?

    This all makes me want to make a small and simple installation of a tiny, waterproof camera (like the rear camera), and a small LCD.


    • The camera would sit under the mirror, hopefully in a flush way to minimise drag and wind noise, looking straight down or maybe slightly forward as well.
    • There would be a separate LCD, always on, so you can use it instantly, no buttons pressed.
    • It would be powered any time the car is ON

    The LCD would be mounted on the same frame where the off side mirror is, in view just in front of the mirror. Any time you look at this mirror, you can clearly also see the front tire, side of the car and curb/obstacles (as applicable)

    I need a suitable waterproof wide angle camera, should I just use the same camera as is used on the back (and the front as well, for those mods?)

    Where can I get 12V power which is on when the car is on close to the off side mirror - inside the mirror, in the frame or ... ?

    In this setup, it is quite simple. No controls, the only connection to the car being to 12V DC. One COULD add a switch in case you want it off for some reason.


    Goal:

    With a camera like this, you could go as close to the curb as you want, without hitting it. Some times at speed, when it gets narrow, you want to get to the side of the road to make room for approaching traffic in the other side or obstacles in the middle of the road, yet you don't want to hit the curb, or other objects. With this installation, you would constantly cover this blind spot. Parking in tight places, the sensors won't help you here (maybe unless you have the autopilot enabled Model S - which I don't). One of my curb rashes was leaving a parking garage, and turning too soon, I hit the high curb (everything is narrow, minute, compressed in Hong Kong - a Model S feels like a Rolls Royce or large van to drive!)

    I would like your help on this, in particular about the 12V DC (the rest is "easy"). Also, let me hear all the support (and nay-sayers too), about this idea. I really think this is lacking on the Model S, I have never had a car that I could NOT drive very close to the curb, without hitting it. Maybe it's the rounded hood, maybe the width of the car, I don't know.

    Must
    Have
    This
    ...
    Now
     
  2. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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  3. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    #3 DITB, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
    Hey Mark, you are FAST, and omni-present. One should think you are a true EV enthusiast :p

    Thanks, looks promising. Maybe it will do, if not too pricey.

    UPDATE:

    OK, so this is 3000 USD, installed, it was a bit pricey. Worse, although I would just love to drive my car to Hollywood, California, I know the superchargers there won't charge my HK RHD Model S. Insurance cover, long ferry or air freight. Nah.

    And I don't really need 360, could I just cherry-pick that one mirror cam for the off-side mirror. On-side, I can see fine. Rear, already has a camera and front - I am happy with what I can see and the sensors.

    My only concern is the off-side of the car, really.

    And judging on the discussions about curb rash / curbing / rim rash on TMC and elsewhere, I can't be alone with this problem.

    LCD in rear view mirror? That's another option, though I would really like to have it next to the side mirror instead. Camera plus LCD, and some cables, should be close to 100 USD in parts and easy to install.
     
  4. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    It hardware is pricey, but not too bad considering 4 cameras plus the combination of video feeds into one overview. The thing that is pricey is the installation. It is a hell of a lot of work to install that. Drilling the mirrors would be terrifying.
     
  5. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    That's why my idea should be much more attractive: Simple and cheap, both in parts and labor. As I wrote, my main concern is finding "car ON" 12V DC
     
  6. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    I really think that is relatively easy. Any reputable car electrical shop could do it for you cheap.

    The bigger issue is mounting the camera in the wing mirror, and video screen on the dashboard.
     
  7. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    Not the dashboard. On the beam, right next to the mirror, besides the built in speaker. Just a small 4 to 5 inch screen or something, that fits there without obstructing the view.
     
  8. Lerxt

    Lerxt Member

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    Cameras aren't necessary, just those wires on a spring that used to stick out from near the wheel, back in the 70's!
     
  9. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    I was thinking even of a solution as low tech as a mirror. The problem is that this mirror would be inside the car - and then you cannot see the curb. Having said that ... ... (sounds of cams grinding) ... maybe it's worth just trying out, how much curb one can see in such mirror. Like one of those wide angle mirrors used for blind spot detection on some cars? Might not show the wheel itself, but maybe enough to be able to see obstacles AND judge how far away the curb is.

    Thanks Lerxt, you might have helped a breakthrough here.

    Further possibilities, same mirror mounted on .. the mirror itself.
     
  10. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    The Rydeen Surround View 4pCh 360 DVR system provides an overhead view of the car and all around it. I'm getting it installed on my car in a week or so. The installer is working with an electronics firm to project the images on the touchscreen. I told them it could't be done but they think they may have a solution.

    pic02.jpg
     
  11. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    Rick,

    This is the first I hear you mentioning that someone thinks they can project direct to the touchscreen as opposed to a new rear view. That's very intriguing news!

    Are you tracking progress on that in another thread? :)
     
  12. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    Yeah, markwj already mentioned that in post #2 here. It's costly and it's a long drive from Hong Kong to West Hollywood.

    I just went to check, with a mirror inside the car, the blind angle is too much: There is about a foot from the tire outer surface to the first visible area.

    While researching it, I stumbled across this article about cameras for mirrors: Why Itll Be a While Before We Can Replace Car Mirrors With Cameras | WIRED

    Ideas that popped up:

    Fresnel mirror:

    Car-parking-Wide-Angle-Fresnel-Lens.jpg

    Small mirror inside big mirror, normally for blind spot on drivers side (to be used in passenger side mirror, angled downwards):

    side mirror convex.jpg

    Van rear mirror to look behind car (perfect in all ways for the purpose except looks, noise and drag):

    VAN rear convex mirror.jpg

    VW experimental "100 liter auto" camera mirror (only allowed in Austria and Germany, due to almost all other countries requiring actual mirrors, not cameras):

    vw mirror LCD - vw006-660x440.jpg


    Now finally - THIS is the kind of view I really want below. Taken from just outside the rear wheel box (mind you, we drive RHD cars in Hong Kong, so I am interested in the left side of the car - which is curb side for us):

    Side View Camera Tesla Model S.jpg

    If I can make a simple and well functioning installation that will give me THAT view, I will be very content. YES I am aware that a (tiny) camera will be sticking out slightly. YES I am aware that water and dirt means that at times, it won't be entirely clear. But if I had that view, I would never get curb rash, hit low obstacles and just be the master of the curb!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I want a separate screen anyway, I want to keep navigation, music and vehicle controls on the normal screen. Just like the three mirrors, I want this system to work all the time (when vehicle is on). I often need to see this at short notice, and there might not be time for button pressing and switching.
     
  13. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #13 artsci, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
    Given my pessimism about anyone finding a solution, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up. The installer thinks he and his video electronics expert source can do it. I sent him all of the technical data I had on the system, along with a spare camera and set of cables. I told him it would be near-impossible, that all efforts to date have failed, but he thinks there's a way. I told him if he found a way we'd all consider him a hero and I'd split the revenue from the product that makes it happen:)

    If any progress is made I certainly will report it on a new thread.

    BTW, to no surprise (at least to me), my local installer can do the Rydeen system for a much better price than Al & Ed's. He thoroughly examined the car to see what challenges he'd face, talked to the technical people at Rydeen, and gave me a price more than $1,000 lower than Al & Ed's.
     
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  14. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    Sounds good. We all wait anxiously to hear the news!

    So your install will cost $2000?
     
  15. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    About that. Waiting for the final estimate and schedule to bring the car in for the work.
     
  16. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    You're not waiting to see if they can hook it up to center screen? :D
     
  17. Madartist

    Madartist Member

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    Rick,

    Will this system replace your front camera kit?
     
  18. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    #18 DITB, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    This thread was NOT meant as a 360 degree video thread, but rather about a much simpler and cheaper solution where

    1) It only shows the off-side dead angle (not front/back/onside)

    2) NOT using the Tesla monitor, but rather a small dedicated LCD that is on any time the car is ON

    As I said, I am happy with all directions of the car, apart from the off-side. Yes, I write like that because "left" and "right" is confusing as there are both LHD and RHD model S - and mine is a RHD, so I am intersted in the left side, obviously, while LHD cars would be interested in the right side. The curb side, in either case.

    I made a video clip with a GoPro, just testing what it would look like. I should have done a parking exercise in a typical tight Hong Kong parking garage, but this is what I had time for right now. More later.

    I think a small, waterproof wide angle cam - as used on the back of the Model S as well as in typical "cheap" CCTV installations, would work well here, and could be mounted on the edge of the wheel fairing of the off-side rear wheel (one possibility).



    I hope to get back in a few days, with a similar video taken in a tight parking exercise environment, yet even this video should be able to show my intention.

    DISCLAIMER: The highway portion of the video is sped up x5 - I am NOT doing 200 mph, ok? Otherwise the same video would have been much longer (not needed).

    While the idea is parking and close in obstacles at low speed, I included that part just to show it could be used at speed, too, in case you are in doubt how close you are to a construction side when it gets narrow. When there is a truck coming at you, half way into your lane, and so on.

    As you might see at the end of the video - I am a bit anal about being aligned in the spot. And with a car that large, with long doors, it is even more important, in order to be able to get in and out. There is no shame in a few movements back and forth, rather than insist on accepting the "first attempt", only to be blocking the adjacent car reasonable access to the doors (and without any "skin damage")
     
  19. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    Integrating a 360 degree system with the display in the touchscreen would be very interesting.

    My greatest reservation about ordering a P85D is that it feels like hardware-wise, even with the autopilot sensors, it's still not quite complete... because they have not added side cameras on the mirrors yet, which seems to be the last remaining omission relative to the German makers.
     
  20. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    No. It's my attempt, with the overhead view, of lane change, curb rash, and obstacle awareness on both sides of the car. I'll still rely on the front and rear camera for parking but with the Rydeen system I'll know potential damage on the right and left sides. And the DVR will record accidents on both sides, which the dash cam can't.
     

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