Veoneer, a Sweden-based tier-one automotive technology provider and a spin-off of Autoliv’s electronics and automated driving divisions, is going to incorporate FLIR systems’ Boson-based thermal sensing technology in an autonomous vehicle with level 4 capabilities. Veoneer claims that the vehicle is under a production contract with a top global automaker for 2021.
It is being claimed that the Veoneer will have the first system in the world for autonomous vehicles to include multiple thermal sensing cameras that provide both narrow and wide field-of-view capabilities to enhance the safety of self-driving vehicles. Thermal sensing cameras excel in driving situations where other sensor technologies are challenged, including low-visibility and high-contrast conditions such as: nighttime, shadows, dusk, or sunrise; while facing direct sun or headlight glare; and in challenging weather conditions including fog and environmental conditions such as smoke. When combined with analytics, thermal sensing cameras can help detect and classify a broad range of common roadway objects and are especially adept at detecting people and other living things, what AVs want to avoid most. With the ability to see up to four times farther than headlights at night, thermal sensors detect the heat given off by everything. This “invisible” advantage offers additional data to the existing suite of AV sensors to improve reliability and redundancy, thereby facilitating better decision making.
Frank Pennisi, president, FLIR Systems’ Industrial Business Unit said, “FLIR’s automotive-qualified thermal sensing cores are a key component of Veoneer’s thermal sensing cameras and systems, which have proven effective on hundreds of thousands of passenger vehicles to date. This selection shows the value of thermal sensing for self-driving applications, paving the way for future adoption by other automotive manufacturers.”
FLIR thermal sensing cores are also part of Veoneer’s fourth-generation thermal sensing system scheduled to launch next year. With more than a decade of experience in the automotive industry, FLIR has been a key partner of Veoneer to support driver early-warning systems in vehicles from General Motors, Volkswagen, Audi, Peugeot, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. This latest contract represents a new phase for FLIR and its thermal sensing technology for the benefit of autonomous, or self-driving vehicles.