FLIR Systems has announced the launch of its next-generation thermal vision Automotive Development Kit (ADK) for the development of self-driving cars.
FLIR has also unveiled a thermal enhanced self-driving test vehicle that demonstrates how thermal cameras improve the safety of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and fill performance gaps in the autonomous vehicles (AV) of tomorrow. The thermal autonomous test vehicle will be demonstrated at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The next-generation thermal-vision ADK featuring the high-resolution FLIR Boson thermal camera core is designed to help automakers, tier-one automotive suppliers, and automotive innovators improve the safety of ADAS and self-driving vehicles. Paired with machine-learning algorithms for object classification, the ADK provides critical data from the far infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to improve the decision making of AVs in common environments where other sensors experience challenges, such as darkness, shadows, sun glare, fog, smoke, or haze. The thermal-vision ADK augments the entire sensor suite and offers the redundancy needed to improve safety in AVs.
The new ADK is IP67 rated and includes an integrated heated window for improved performance in all-weather testing. It also features Gigabit Multimedia Serial Link (GMSL), USB, and Ethernet connection for easier integration.
FLIR is also showing the industry’s first thermal camera-equipped commercial test vehicle featuring multiple FLIR ADK cameras that will provide a 360-degree street view. The car demonstrates the ADK’s integration capabilities with radar, LIDAR, and visible cameras found on autonomous test vehicles today. With thermal camera-enhanced automatic emergency braking (AEB), the car helps validate how thermal imaging with machine learning classification improves the functionality of AEB.
“For automated decision making on the roadway, thermal imaging cameras coupled with machine-learning capabilities provide the most effective method for pedestrian detection to save lives, particularly in cluttered environments or in poor visibility,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR. “Furthermore, the FLIR thermal-enhanced autonomous test vehicle demonstrates how thermal cameras can significantly improve urban, highway, and AEB performance and the overall safety of self-driving cars.”