The assignee for this patent, patent number 8508350, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "It is known to provide a rearward facing camera or imaging sensor or device at a rear of a vehicle and with a generally rearward and downward field of view to capture images of the area immediately rearward of the vehicle for a rear vision system or back up aid system or the like. Examples of such rear vision devices and systems are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,005,974; 6,989,736; 6,757,109; 6,717,610; 6,396,397; 6,201,642; 6,353,392; 6,313,454; 5,550,677; 5,670,935; 5,796,094; 5,877,897; 6,097,023; and 6,498,620, and PCT Publication No. WO 2004/047421 A2, which are all hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
"For parking into parallel parking spots along a street it is also known to provide a camera mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle, facing generally rearward and to the side, thereby providing the driver a better view of the curb and other objects to the side of the vehicle.
"To connect two or more video sources to the same display video switches are often used to toggle between the alternative video sources. An example of an in-vehicle video architecture using video switching is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 7,050,089, which is incorporated hereby by reference in its entirety. Video switches may be stand alone control units or integrated with other control units, e.g. a display device.
"While a video switch is useful to share one display between two or more cameras it adds significant cost. Therefore, it is desirable to share one display device between two or more cameras without the need for a video switch."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In one aspect, the invention is directed to a system for providing and displaying video information in a vehicle. The system includes a display device having a video input, a plurality of video sources each having a video output, wherein the video outputs from the video sources are connected in parallel to the video input of the display device, and a video source control device configured to keep no more than one video source activated at a time when the display is active.
"In a particular embodiment, one or more of the video sources may be a camera. For example, one of the video sources may be a rear-mounted rearview camera on the vehicle. As another example, one of the video sources may be a camera mounted at the side of the vehicle to provide a view of a curb during parking of the vehicle.
"The video source control device is configured to control the activation and deactivation of the video sources. The video source control device may further be configured to control the activation and deactivation of the display device. The video source control device may communicate with the video sources through a serial data bus that is suitable for vehicular use, to instruct the video sources to activate or deactivate as desired.
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