Car windshield developed with integrated thermal camera
EP&T MagazineAutomation / Robotics Electronics Embedded Systems automotive cars safety Sensor windshield
Lynred and Saint-Gobain Sekurit have co-developed an automobile windshield that incorporates both visible and thermal cameras side-by-side. The windshield, with an enhanced sensing-system, aims to help car makers improve the reliability of collision mitigation systems by detecting pedestrians in adverse visibility conditions, particularly at night, when more than 75% of pedestrian fatalities occur. It will also reduce incidences of false positive alarms – cars automatically braking when there is no danger, creating a risk of rear-end collisions.
This sensing-system enables thermal imaging through standard windshield glass, which detects and classifies pedestrians at up to 140 metres in all weather and lighting conditions. This co-development is in response to new automotive vehicle safety standards requiring Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Pedestrian Autonomous Emergency Braking (PAEB) systems to work reliably both day and night, at speeds up to 100km/h for lead car crashes avoidance and up to 65km/h for pedestrians. Within four years of public approval of the regulation, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) notice for proposed rulemaking will require light vehicles to be equipped with these systems. Europe’s Road Safety Policy Framework 2021 – 2030, and its ‘Vision Zero’ approach, is also requiring better vehicle construction to improve road and pedestrian safety.
AEB system windshield solution
Saint-Gobain Sekurit developed a crystal-based technology to create a transparent area within the windshield, aligning both the visible and thermal cameras. The crystal is Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compliant and is integrated while retaining the original performance of the wiper system and the thermal comfort of the passenger compartment.
Lynred provided a VGA (640×480 resolution) thermal sensor equipped with Umicore lenses and configured the camera data input with the pedestrian detection algorithm. Conventionally, thermal sensors have been placed behind the grille, exposing them to mud, dirt shocks and other elements. Positioning visible and thermal sensing-system behind the windshield increases the reliability of AEB by improving visibility in all scenarios.
- Distinguishing pedestrians from other animate or inanimate objects, thus reducing false positive alarms
- Functioning in all weather and lighting conditions
- Close proximity of both sensors, resulting in easier visible and thermal image fusion thus providing enhanced detection performance
- Better road vision due to higher placement of the sensing-system
- Protecting sensors from obstructive elements to optimize operating time