Honda's Intelligent Night Vision System

 

Honda's Intelligent Night Vision System

Published 26 October 2004 Melanie Carter

4 Step explanation of world first initiative - Intelligent Night Vision
  • Two bonnet mounted cameras view heat emitting objects up to 80m ahead
  • Night vision "identifies" whether object is a pedestrian or not
  • Calculates possibility of collision based on directional movement
  • Warns driver if there is a risk
Honda has developed the world’s first Intelligent Night Vision System which could dramatically cut night time pedestrian casualties. The system is already available in the Japanese market Honda Legend.

The new system uses "far infrared" cameras to detect pedestrians in or approaching the vehicle’s path and provides the driver with visual and audio cautions to help prevent accidents involving pedestrians. The Intelligent Night Vision System uses images obtained from two far infrared cameras positioned in the lower section of the front bumper to detect the position and movement of infrared heat-emitting objects and determine whether they are in or approaching the vehicle’s path.

Based on size and shape, the system also determines if the detected object is a pedestrian. In addition to the conventional night vision function of giving the driver an enhanced view of the road ahead, the system is the world’s first to provide cautions that inform the driver of the presence of pedestrians who are on the road or about to cross the vehicle’s path.

According to Britain’s Department of Transport, there are twice the number of pedestrian fatalities during the winter darkness months of November, December and January, than during the May, June, July summer period. Pedestrian fatalities make up more than one fifth of all traffic accident fatalities in Britain, but the situation is even worse in Japan where the number rises to approximately one in three.

To address this issue Honda, which places a high priority on the development of new pedestrian safety technologies, developed the Intelligent Night Vision System. Honda is committed to the further development of technologies designed to help prevent accidents involving pedestrians.

In its ongoing efforts to reach a better understanding of the kinematics of pedestrian accidents and to develop technologies to protect pedestrians, Honda developed the world’s first pedestrian dummy, POLAR I, in 1988. This was followed by POLAR II in 2000, which features an even more human-like structure and more points of measurement. The company is also at the forefront of vehicle pedestrian protection technology, generally acknowledged as being the first company to manufacture cars specifically designed to minimise pedestrian injuries. More recently the company has developed the world’s first pop-up bonnet with the same aim.

Honda (UK) cannot confirm when and if "Intelligent Night Vision" will be available in Britain, however pedestrian safety technologies pioneered in the HR-V and Civic now feature on all new Hondas for Europe.

Intelligent Night Vision System configuration
  • Far infrared camera

    The camera obtains a visual image based on the "far infrared" radiation emitted by humans and other objects. Because it uses far infrared radiation, it is capable of obtaining a viable image without the use of a light source, as is required by visible-light or "near infrared" cameras.

  • Heads-up display

    The image is reflected in a mirror positioned on top of the dashboard, which retracts into the dashboard for daytime stowage.

  • Pedestrian detecting ECU

    The ECU determines pedestrian position and motion based on the image from the cameras, along with vehicle speed and other vehicle information. The system detects pedestrians in or approaching the vehicle’s path, and provides caution to the driver via a visual enhancement frame around the pedestrian image and an audio caution.

  • Sensors

    Headlight on/off information, windscreen wiper setting, yaw rate, vehicle speed, ambient temperature.

  • Control system flow
Additional Safety Technology Information
  • In 1999 the HR-V was introduced to Japan as Honda's first car designed specifically for pedestrian safety as well as occupant safety
  • The 2001 Civic was the first Honda for Europe to feature these technologies, and the first Honda to gain 3 stars in the Euro NCAP pedestrian safety ratings
  • The CR-V is currently the only 4x4 to achieve an industry leading 3 star rating

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