SEOUL, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Hyundai Motor said it has developed a technology to automatically remove contaminants from the car's camera sensors.
The new technology rotates the exterior glass cover on the camera lens to remove dust, mud and water droplets with the help of washer fluids, the automaker said Wednesday.
"When our AI detects contamination using image analysis, the system automatically starts on the cleaning operation," a Hyundai official told UPI News Korea.
"Washer fluid is supplied to the problem spot for removing any foreign substances on the camera lens, with the glass cover rotating to remove moisture and ensuring perfect cleaning," he said.
The rotator-cam technology is one of many new features under development to help keep various sensors on cars clean.
Experts say the new technology will be crucial for self-driving vehicles.
"For Level 4 self-driving technology, a near-flawless self-cleaning ability is a must. The conventional method of washer fluid simply being sprayed is not good enough because there's still moisture on the surface afterward," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo said in an interview.
"For self-driving automobiles, sensors are like eyes. For safety reasons, the sensors must remain clean under whatever conditions," he said.
Level 4 self-driving technology means that a vehicle is almost fully autonomous, and in most cases, needing no driver interaction.
By contrast, existing Level 3 is a conditional automation that requires human override.
Over the past few years, Level 3 autonomous driving has been permitted in certain instances, with optimists expecting Level 4 models to be just around the corner. Some are cautious, however, about its technological limits and regulations.