Thermal Cameras and AI Work to Safeguard Pedestrians

"Most safety systems today are centered around regular RGB cameras, which require active illumination or natural light to see a scene,” said Wade Appelman, chief business officer at Owl Autonomous Imaging (Owl AI). “However, they fail in the dark. In fact, over 70% of pedestrian fatalities occur in the dark,” he said.

Owl AI Chief Business Officer, Wade Appelman recently caught up with Editor-in-Chief Michael Wheeler to discuss findings of a recent report compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in which a troubling conclusion was reached: Pedestrian injuries and deaths have been on the rise in recent years. This has spurred rapid changes in automobile test protocols, along with the development of pedestrian autonomous emergency braking (PAEB) systems. These systems brake for pedestrians in the path of an automobile and do not depend on the perception of the driver or the reaction of a pedestrian in the car’s path.

While existing systems that use cameras and radar can operate well during the day when visibility is good, they fail in the presence of backlighting or in chaotic urban scenes, and when vision is obscured by atmospheric conditions, such as when it is dark outside.

  Difficult-to-spot pedestrians lurking in the shadows can be seen using the Owl Thermal Ranger system. 

Michael Wheeler dives into the secret sauce behind spotting pedestrians after dark.  

Read the full article here: 

Published September 28, 2023


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