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Proceedings Paper

Night vision: requirements and possible roadmap for FIR and NIR systems
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Paper Abstract

A night vision system must increase visibility in situations where only low beam headlights can be used today. As pedestrians and animals have the highest risk increase in night time traffic due to darkness, the ability of detecting those objects should be the main performance criteria, and the system must remain effective when facing the headlights of oncoming vehicles. Far infrared system has been shown to be superior to near infrared system in terms of pedestrian detection distance. Near infrared images were rated to have significantly higher visual clutter compared with far infrared images. Visual clutter has been shown to correlate with reduction in detection distance of pedestrians. Far infrared images are perceived as being more unusual and therefore more difficult to interpret, although the image appearance is likely related to the lower visual clutter. However, the main issue comparing the two technologies should be how well they solve the driver's problem with insufficient visibility under low beam conditions, especially of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. With the addition of an automatic detection aid, a main issue will be whether the advantage of FIR systems will vanish given NIR systems with well performing automatic pedestrian detection functionality. The first night vision introductions did not generate the sales volumes initially expected. A renewed interest in night vision systems are however to be expected after the release of night vision systems by BMW, Mercedes and Honda, the latter with automatic pedestrian detection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 April 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6198, Photonics in the Automobile II, 61980F (21 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.663145
Show Author Affiliations
Jan-Erik Källhammer, Autoliv Research (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6198:
Photonics in the Automobile II
Patrick P. Meyrueis; Thomas P. Pearsall, Editor(s)

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