Heat-sensitive cameras can also help detect warm-bodied objects in poor-visibility situations, such as fog or snow. This extra warning capability might sway a buyer who lives away from a big city or in an area that regularly sees bad weather. Image quality tends to make it hard for people to identify details, but the presence of a potential danger is easy to spot.
â€œThe latest active, or near-infrared, sensitive cameras offer some help in bad weather,â€ says Alexander, â€œand they have the advantage of delivering a much clearer image (compared with passive IR technology) that is easier to interpret.â€ The clarity of the night image will be of great value to someone who drives on secluded roads or has to park in remote, unlit areas.
ABI Research believes that the real market for night vision systems will arrive when the technology can use machine vision to detect obstacles and warn the driver. Until then, talking up the multiple benefits could result in conquest sales for some automakers.