LYNRED and Saint Gobain Sekurit caused a stir at the AutoSens exhibition, which was held in Brussels between September 19 and 21, by unveiling the very first windshield incorporating both a visible-light camera and a thermal camera.
This additional safety feature is capable of picking out people at night and automatically engaging the vehicle's emergency braking system using a pedestrian detection algorithm that can identify them up to a distance of 140 meters, even in bad weather.
Sébastien Tinnes, Marketing Manager for the Automotive Market at LYNRED, takes a look back at the highlights of a project that has been nearly four years in the making: LYNRED has been designing and marketing a range of thermal imaging detectors for over 35 years for such varied markets as the aerospace, defense and leisure industries. However, when it came to breaking into the automotive market, LYNRED's teams had to overcome the challenge of inventing a solution that could see through the partially infrared-reflective glass used by windshield manufacturers. LYNRED and Saint Gobain Sekurit combined their skills to create an infrared-transparent section in the top-middle part of the windshield, meaning that cameras can be fitted in this area.
Drawing on its high-level manufacturing expertise, LYNRED went to great lengths to drive down the costs of its infrared sensors to equip cameras at less than €100, which is an acceptable cost for the automotive industry.
To produce a demonstrator for the show, LYNRED ultimately created and trialed a pedestrian detection algorithm based on a classical neural network trained with images in the visible light spectrum and re-trained with 5,000 thermal images.
Although this demonstrator is currently nothing more than a prototype for demonstrating the concept's technical feasibility, marketing could start between 2026 and 2028 depending on when legislation decides to embrace this innovative technology.
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