Night vision system offers HD resolution, pedestrian detection

September 11, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Autoliv Inc. has introduced an automotive night vision fusion system with high definition (HD) and enhanced pedestrian and animal detection. According to the company, it is the world's first such system with HD resolution. Debuting on the Mercedes’ New S-Class, the dual-infrared camera system combines the advantages of a far infrared camera with the benefits of a near infrared camera to deliver the most advanced and effective night vision system ever featured on an automobile.

The system, using dual-infrared camera technology, brings a new level of safety and comfort to nighttime driving. A near infrared camera, mounted behind the windshield, captures a crisp and almost HD like view of the road ahead using reflection from an infrared lamp, while a far infrared camera, using heat emission detection, senses small amounts of heat radiating from pedestrians and animals up to 4 times further than the vehicle headlights.

Deer-vehicle collisions cost an estimated $3.5 billion annually in the U.S. alone, with over 25,000 driver injuries. In Europe, the costs are estimated to exceed €1.0 billion annually. Collisions with pedestrians are a major cause of death, with over 100,000 killed worldwide each year. Autoliv's Night Vision Fusion System, which is the third generation of the company’s’ night vision systems, can help drivers avoid these collisions – reducing death and injury, costly vehicle repairs, and eliminating the emotional trauma that comes with a collision.

Once pedestrians, cyclists or animals are detected, they are highlighted for the driver to see on the in-dash screen. Under most nighttime driving conditions, if the vehicle continues to follow a collision path with pedestrians or animals, an audible and visual alert is issued and the brakes are prefilled, preparing them for activation. The ECU can also trigger the headlights to project a spotlight directly onto the pedestrians or animals, improving the driver’s ability to see them at night.


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