Zoox, the globally renowned company in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and mobility-as-a-service solutions, has revealed the first look of its self-driving, electric and autonomous vehicle built for the rider, not the driver. The Machine Learning solutions company announced that they are happy to confirm that FLIR Systems will supply them with thermal imaging cameras for their Zoox robotaxi vehicle. FLIR Systems also shared more details on their involvement with Zoox and why this is such an important milestone for autonomous vehicles. As a sensing technology that performs the complex task of detecting and classifying roadway objects in challenging lighting conditions, thermal cameras add additional layers of safety through increased situational awareness and redundancy as part of complex sensor suites, ranging from radar to LIDAR to visible cameras. Zoox robotaxi with FLIR thermal cameras The Zoox robotaxi features FLIR thermal cameras in its bi-directional vehicle for improved visibility The Zoox robotaxi features FLIR thermal cameras in its bi-directional vehicle, bringing improved visibility to more confidently identify and classify pedestrians, cyclists, and animals in both day and night driving conditions on urban streets, all around the vehicle. Although thermal imaging is a more recent sensing modality in autonomy, mobility innovators, like Zoox, have come to realize its benefits for improving safety. Thermal imaging is a passive sensing modality that does not require illumination and performs equally well in bright sun glare, headlight glare, and complete darkness, while offering additional awareness in adverse weather conditions such as fog, smoke, rain and snow. Enhanced safety of ADAS vehicles In short, by using thermal imaging, ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assist Systems) vehicles can recognize and adapt to these changing conditions quickly and as a result, they can facilitate improvement in the safety across all levels of autonomy, including Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems. This enhanced level of safety is crucial for all occupants and other road users, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists that can be more difficult to spot in crowded urban environments. This high level of safety will go a long way in helping avoid road injuries or potential fatalities. A history of thermal imaging and automotive integration FLIR Systems’ initial foray into thermal imaging technology for automotive use happened over 15 years ago. The video surveillance solutions company has since evolved to create integrated thermal imaging systems that provide additional situational awareness and safety for Advanced Driver-Assist Systems (ADAS) vehicles. Their state-of-the-art technologies include the development of robust thermal imaging datasets to enable machine vision classification in the infrared spectrum, as part of broader Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology stacks. Boson thermal camera technology FLIR Systems is thrilled to see its technology gain wider acceptance as a crucial component of safer mobility FLIR Systems had also earlier announced its Boson thermal camera technology would be a part of an internationally renowned automaker’s level-four autonomous vehicle (AV) sensor suite through the company long time autonomous vehicle solutions partner, Veoneer. And now with the introduction of the Zoox autonomous vehicle, FLIR Systems is thrilled to see its technology continue to gain wider acceptance as a crucial component of safer mobility. Fusing thermal sensor data with radar Recently, FLIR Systems teamed up with VSI Labs to develop a proof-of-concept vehicle and testing program that looks at how fusing thermal sensor data with radar, a visible sensor data via a trained neural network, can significantly improve pedestrian detection for Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems. By adding thermal imaging to current sensor suites, the testing showed significant improvement in nighttime and poor visibility scenarios. Autonomous innovation Autonomous innovation remains a strategic priority at FLIR, and as the automotive industry continues to evolve and perfect its safety systems, FLIR will play an integral role to support the future of travel.
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced availability of the FLIR Occupancy Management Solution for FLIR Brickstream 3D Gen2 to automate occupancy counting within high traffic and capacity-limited areas. To support social distancing guidelines during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupancy Management Solution provides organizations with an easy-to-use, real-time capacity counting and display tool for multiple entries and exits. Organizations can automate capacity counting for high foot-traffic spaces to maintain social distancing compliance. “Many organizations are manually measuring occupancy, but this process is often inaccurate, cumbersome and expensive,” said Paul Clayton, General Manager, Components Business at FLIR Systems. Automated monitoring solution “FLIR addressed this challenge by introducing a cost-effective, scalable, self-contained, and automated monitoring solution suitable for a variety of locations from grocery stores, stadiums, theaters, transportation hubs, to manufacturing plants, and office spaces.” Current Brickstream 3D Gen2 customers can purchase and add this feature with via a remote firmware upgrade The Occupancy Management Solution is platform agnostic with an integrated IoT architecture, which can be implemented within existing Wi-Fi access points, offering a complete edge-based solution with the Brickstream 3D Gen2 hardware. It provides a simple display dashboard for capacity updates that can be viewed by staff or customers on devices with a web browser. Remote firmware upgrade It may be used as a standalone or integrated into existing perimeter systems, making it ideal for most environments where occupancy must be closely managed. Current Brickstream 3D Gen2 customers can purchase and add this feature with via a remote firmware upgrade. This solution is part of FLIR Systems’ COVID-19 response product portfolio, which includes the FLIR EST camera series, to help organizations improve safety in public places and other high traffic areas. The FLIR Occupancy Management Solution for Brickstream 3D Gen2 is available from FLIR and its global Brickstream distribution partners.
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced FLIR Hadron, the industry’s first dual sensor module for drone, robotic, and imaging original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Designed to help reduce development costs and improve time-to-market, the lightweight, low power, and compact form factor includes a 12-megapixel visible camera paired with the FLIR Boson 320x240 resolution thermal camera with up to a 60-hertz framerate. “With the introduction of Hadron, FLIR Systems is leading the way in offering low-cost, dual sensor integration across a variety of industries from commercial drones to industrial imaging systems,” said Paul Clayton, General Manager, Components Business at FLIR. “Although our unmanned aerial system (UAS) customers are first to market with Hadron, this product empowers all of our OEM customers to increase performance with out-of-the-box functionality and simplified integration.” Visible-thermal sensor For an aircraft where you’re trying to push the limit on flight performance, every gram matters" As part of the Hadron development process, FLIR worked closely with drone manufacturers Vantage Robotics and Teal Drones, to perfect the module for use on lightweight drone airframes. Vantage Robotics integrated Hadron into its micro-gimbal platform featuring its proprietary stabilization technology, offering a dual-sensor, OEM solution for existing UAS airframes and potentially other robotic platforms. “Hadron is far and away the lightest and smallest combined visible-thermal sensor that has ever been commercially available,” said Tobin Fisher, CEO at Vantage Robotics. “For an aircraft where you’re trying to push the limit on flight performance, every gram matters. The ability to get these sensor capabilities in a package this small makes an enormous difference.” Thermal and visual sensors Teal has also integrated Hadron within its 2-pound (1 kilogram) Golden Eagle UAS platform, taking advantage of the module’s compact size to create a lightweight yet dynamic payload that helps preserve battery life and maximize flight time on a small airframe. “Hadron enables us to speed development and time-to- market for small airframes with thermal and visual sensors,” said Teal Drones CEO and founder, George Matus. “It’s high quality, low weight, and compact size allows for rapid integration to quickly develop prototypes.”
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced the availability of the new FLIR Blackfly S visible spectrum camera module, the first to integrate the Sony Pregius S IMX540 sensor with 24.5 MP at 12 FPS in a USB3 camera. The combination of the Blackfly S feature set with IMX540’s high megapixel (MP) count and fast imaging enables engineers and researchers from biomedical to semiconductor industries to inspect more in less time and with fewer cameras required. Machine vision expertise OEM machine designers, and researchers rely on FLIR for high quality, full-feature machine vision cameras" “OEM machine designers, engineers and researchers rely on FLIR for high quality, full-feature machine vision cameras,” said Paul Clayton, General Manager, Components Business at FLIR Systems. “With this latest Blackfly S model, we continue the tradition of combining the best technology with world-class support to empower our customers to achieve their objectives faster and at lower costs.” With a new backside illuminated (BSI) 2.74 µm pixel, the Pregius S sensors nearly doubles the pixel density of earlier Pregius sensors while taking advantage of lower cost and more compact lenses. Delivering 24 MP, 12 FPS Sony Pregius distortion-free imaging of fast-moving targets, the Blackfly S enables faster production lines even for very detailed inspection. High quantum efficiency The Blackfly S also delivers high quantum efficiency and low read noise allowing shorter exposure times, and therefore less powerful lights are required resulting in lower lighting costs. The FLIR Blackfly S BFS-U3-244S8M/C-C is available for purchase globally through FLIR and authorized FLIR distributors. FLIR will also release additional Pregius S sensors on GigE and 10GigE interfaces later this year. To learn more about the Sony Pregius S, visit the company’s official website.
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