Dickmanns 2002b : Machine vision for road vehicles started in the mid-80ies. After a very brief review of the initial phase of about half a decade, developments over the last decade are discussed in more detail. The EUREKA-‘Prometheus’-project set the stage in Europe and spread activities to all major carmakers and to many universities through Europe. The US and some Asian countries soon followed. The basic perceptual and behavioral capabilities for driving and for driver assistance on well-kept high-speed roads have been demonstrated at the end of the Prometheus project in 1994. Later developments took two directions: 1. Simple systems for early application in limited domains, and 2. more complex systems with growth potential for performance levels closer to the human one. These lines of development are discussed.

In the meantime, first products with machine vision components are on the market; more highly integrated systems have been announced for the second half of this decade. A road map for the development is sketched in an outlook, and recognizable technological trends are reviewed and analyzed.