Owl at SemiCon West 2023

Join Owl AI CEO & co-founder, Chuck Gershman at Semicon West where he joins other industry leaders from Bosch, Applied Materials, McKinsey & Company and Denso International America, in the Intelligent Sensors for Smart Mobility session.  He’ll be talking about Enhanced Pedestrian Safety with 3D Thermal Ranging using AI for ADAS/AV Applications. 

A recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reached an alarming conclusion. Not only have pedestrian injuries and deaths been rising for years but the systems now installed on automobiles intended to protect pedestrians, fail to work at night when more than 76% of the fatalities occur. This study plus those by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and others, have raised the pressure on government regulators to include testing at night for Pedestrian Automated Emergency Braking (PAEB) systems and to include the results in the NCAP safety ratings.

The current de-facto Automotive Driver Assist System (ADAS) sensor suite typically comprises mutually dependent visible-light cameras and radar, but when one of these sensors becomes ineffective, so too does the entire sensor suite. This scenario happens often especially when it comes to pedestrians, cyclists, and animals at night or in inclement weather. We will discuss a novel modality known as monocular 3D Thermal Ranging™ that dramatically improves pedestrian safety to reduce accidents and save lives. The solution is based on custom HD thermal imaging and innovative AI/ML based computer vision algorithms. Operating in the thermal spectrum these algorithms exploit angular, temporal and intensity data to produce ultra-dense 3D point clouds (up to 150x that of LIDAR) along with highly refined classification for object identification.

We will discuss how to derive ultra-high-density range maps from a monocular thermal camera running a purpose-built AI/ML CNN. The resulting new sensor modality provides all the benefits of a thermal camera, including all weather and day/night operation and instant classification of animals and vehicles, while simultaneously delivering a geospatially registered 3D range map of such density that perception stacks may enjoy unprecedented awareness. Finally, we will show real world nighttime results using the Thermal Ranger tested against the latest NHTSA NCAP nighttime PAEB test procedures.

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