Chipmaker STMicroelectronics and an Israeli-based start-up AdaSky have collaborated to create a high-resolution FIR thermal imaging camera for autonomous vehicles with minimal size, weight, and power consumption, and no moving parts. The complete sensing solution from AdaSky, called Viper, helps autonomous vehicles to recognize its environment even in darkness and poor visibility.
Viper has been designed in ST’s proprietary 28nm FD-SOI manufacturing technology and uses ST IP that is fully qualified for automotive applications.
“To achieve 24/7 autonomous driving, vehicles will rely on the fusion of complementary information streams provided by different sensors. No sensor or camera in operation today can capture all of the information on its own and each has challenges in certain lighting or weather conditions”, explained ST.
To counter these issues, AdaSky’s Viper uses Passive infrared vision which provides accurate sight and perception without fail in dynamic lighting conditions, in direct sunlight, in the face of oncoming headlights, and in harsh weather.
“Utilising an innovative FIR micro-bolometer sensor in the new camera to detect the temperature of an object, the ADAS solution can issue a warning to the driver several seconds earlier than it would when using a conventional sensor in the visible wavelength”, ST said.
“AdaSky has developed a powerful infrared-based vision sensor and valuable algorithms that add a complementary and incredibly valuable additional layer of information to the existing sensors that will soon be driving autonomous vehicles,” said Fabio Marchio, Group Vice President and General Manager, Automotive Digital Division, STMicroelectronics. “By addressing the challenging and difficult driving conditions that remain one of the largest concerns to true, always-on, 24/7 autonomous driving, AdaSky is enabling these driverless systems.”
Prototypes are now under evaluation by carmakers with initial production targeted for 2020.
Read the Press release.