Autoliv Launches Second Generation Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection
(Stockholm, October 2nd, 2008) – Autoliv Inc. – the global leader in automotive safety systems – is introducing the second generation Night Vision system. This next-generation system includes the world’s first advanced pedestrian detection capability for worldwide application using a single far-infrared sensor.
One of the challenges of driving at night is seeing pedestrians on the road ahead. While headlights can provide good illumination, objects at distances beyond 40 meters are usually not seen by a driver at night. Reduced visibility puts pedestrians and cyclists at greater risk. Studies have shown that the risk for fatal pedestrian accidents is almost four times higher at night than during the day.
Autoliv’s Night Vision system, first introduced on the 2005 BMW 7-Series, displays a TV-like image of the road scene ahead on the navigation display. This makes driving at night easier and safer. The system is sensitive to the infrared (IR) light from warm objects and living beings and can see in total darkness without any lamps or illumination. As a result, the field of vision is not dependent on or limited to the beam of the headlights.
The second generation Night Vision system is based on Autoliv’s proven far-infrared technology. An improved infrared sensor, mounted in the grille of the new BMW 7-Series, scans the road for pedestrians more than two times further than the headlight range. Once a pedestrian is detected it is highlighted on the vehicle’s Night Vision display. To provide an extra margin of safety the system will also analyze the scene content and vehicle dynamics to determine if the pedestrian is at risk of being hit by the vehicle. An alert is then sent to the driver with enough time for the driver to react.
As traffic conditions and pedestrian behavior varies around the world, Autoliv was required to collect a multitude of night vision video sequences from the United States, China, South Africa, Japan and various countries in Europe. From these video sequences, more than 50 million “image patches” were used for training the highly advanced software algorithms that detects pedestrians and alert the driver of the vehicle.
The system is designed to cope with varying driving situations, including country and city driving conditions. For example, when driving at slower speeds in the city, where higher pedestrian traffic is anticipated, the system monitors a smaller and shorter corridor of the road ahead to prevent too many warnings due to higher pedestrian traffic. In the countryside, while driving at higher speed, the system will monitor a wider and deeper corridor of the road.
Stuart Klapper, Business Director, Autoliv Electronics Night Vision +1 805-679-3203
Henrik Kaar, Director Corporate Communications + 46 8 587 20 614