When you hear the words “night vision”, you'd most probably think of the device used by the military to conduct stealth missions. But in the future, there's a chance you'd see “night vision” on the list of a car's advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS.
That's right. Night vision may soon be utilized to help us drive safer in poor lighting conditions. Japanese company Kyocera has developed what they call the world's first “in-vehicle night vision system”.
So how does it work? Basically, the system recognizes objects that could pose hazards and issue warnings to the driver to support safe driving. Kyocera utilized a normal headlight bulb and integrated a diode that produces near-infrared light. The combination illuminates as a single light-emitting element in which the infrared light is then captured by an “RGB-IR sensor” mounted on the windshield – similar to an ADAS camera.
The generated image data then detects possible road hazards using AI recognition technology. Because it is using infrared light to detect objects in front of the vehicle, the system can work even in environments where visibility is poor. On the other hand, ADAS cameras, millimeter-wave radars, and LiDAR are usually limited to detecting hazards in fine or bright conditions.
Kyocera says the in-vehicle night vision system is still being developed further, but we may see it equipped in new vehicles as early as 2027. The system may also work in conjunction with existing ADAS technologies to reduce the number of nighttime traffic accidents.