The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Night Vision Technology Augmenting Other Safety Features

February 08, 2007

NEW YORK --- A new study from ABI Research reveals that night vision technology may have a more promising future when linked to the development of other camera-based safety systems. "Integrating the ability to see better at night into the driving process is a huge challenge," said senior analyst David Alexander. "But the biggest obstacle to opening up the mass market is cost." Until now, the primary goal of a night vision system has been to deliver an enhanced image to the driver, who then has to interpret the extra information. With the advent of obstacle detection via machine vision, it is soon going to be possible for the vehicle to provide the driver with specific warnings of potential problems. "Honda's system that is available today, but only in Japan, is the first generation of an ‘intelligent' night vision function," said Alexander. "But the cost is much too high for large-volume sales. Use of the underlying object detection and identification technology from other camera-based applications could lead to a new category of night-vision capability that is both low-cost and easy for drivers to use." As functionality improves and image-processing technology matures, the long-term future for night vision systems is promising. Market interest could bode well for Tier 1 system developers such as Autoliv, Bosch, Hella, Siemens and Valeo. However, positive feedback from the first purchasers of the technology's latest generation is needed to spur demand.
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