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Oakland University is a nationally recognized university offering students a personal, high-quality education through flexible class schedules, new facilities, student services, classroom technologies, labs, internships, co-ops, research opportunities with corporate partners, and degree and certificate programs. Oakland University's School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS) offers instruction leading to degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels and has about 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) has been at the forefront of all engineering disciplines in technological innovation. The Center for Robotics and Advanced Automation (CRAA) at ECE has been at the forefront of research and development in the areas of controls, robotics, automation and machine vision. The Chrysler Controls and Robotics Laboratory at ECE serves as an active research center in various areas of controls and robotics.

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Macomb-OU Incubator Introduces a New Client Company

POSTED 06/30/2017

The Macomb-OU Incubator is pleased to introduce new client company CoPilot Vision Systems (CPVS). CPVS has developed a proprietary, commercial vehicle, rear-view vision system to eliminate blind spots via a portable, 180-degree field-of-view (FOV), no ‘fish-eye’ camera system, which video streams to a tablet or other smart device within the truck.

Class-8, heavy duty, commercial over-the-road (OTR), and other local rental transportation markets deal with the problem of ‘blind spots’ in many areas of a vehicle, including the rear. This CPVS technology eliminates this dangerous issue with an innovative rear-view vision-system solution. The core product includes a Multi-Camera Vision System (MCVS) attached to a multi-use clamping mechanism, which fastens to the vehicle’s rear Department of Transportation (DOT)-regulated bumper. The MVCS then streams video either in wired or wireless mode to a tablet or in-cab device, after being ‘paired’ using secured Near Field Communications (NFC) protocol.

“I heard about [Mac-OU Inc] while conducting research on local incubators. I read about the staff’s backgrounds and then met with several of them. After this, it was clear applying to [Mac-OU Inc] would be the correct decision. It has been great to work with experts in the areas of acquiring capital, preparing my pitch deck, and obtaining technical guidance on our product,” said John Gray, CPVS Co-Founder and President.

For this technology, CPVS has one patent issued, with another in the fourth stage with the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office. The system’s uniqueness extends beyond portability by providing a 180-degree FOV, larger than any other on the market and with no fish-eye distortion. To achieve this, CPVS has optically integrated the images, thus overcoming the technical constraint of ‘stitching’ multiple images together.

This optical single FOV in turn increases a driver’s situational awareness (SA), which is unique to the market. When a driver’s SA is increased, the driver’s safety and efficiency also dramatically improve. The primary target market is the class-8 commercial vehicle fleet market of more than 700,000 vehicles for the U.S. and Canada, while the secondary target market is the local rental and moving industry such as Penske, Ryder, U-Haul and Enterprise, representing 650,000 vehicles.

CPVS has been speaking with manufacturers supporting large leasing and rental fleets and is conducting discussions and demonstrations at various district locations to gain field data. Next steps for CPVS include securing Angel and Seed Funding in order to develop the proof-of-concept minimum viable/saleable product, with printed circuit board samples and second-stage production design to obtain customer letters of intent.