Why Microbolometer Cameras Are Key to Autonomous Vehicle Night Vision

Around the world, highway safety organizations, insurance companies and regulatory agencies are urgently pressing for action to counter the steadily rising rates of pedestrian deaths and injuries at night. While connecting cameras in cars to automatic braking systems has reduced incident rates in the daytime, these cameras, even when augmented by radar, fail to provide protection at night. The latest government and industry safety regulations address this shortcoming by requiring improvements in nighttime performance as soon as suitable technology is available. In these regulations, five years is the imperative timeline, driving rapid incorporation of night vision technologies into the automotive manufacturing process.

The solution seems obvious – adapt some of the night vision equipment used in defense to work in cars. In fact, attempts to do this have been tried, and so far, they have all failed. The problem is that in defense, the primary goal is to provide images for the troops while in cars, the images must be acted on by computers. For the same reason, night vision equipment used in commercial security is not suitable in cars.

Two night vision technologies dominate existing markets; low-light-level cameras and thermal imaging.  But of course, it’s not without challenges.  

Hop on over to Electronics 360 to read the full article and learn why Microbolometer cameras are key to vehicle night vision, plus uncover the ways in which thermal imaging is poised to reduce pedestrian fatalities, even in adverse conditions.  

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