Fall is here and in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere this translates into increased activity by large animals, especially deer and elk, who start foraging before winter. It is very nice to see, but it also creates an unpleasant reality in densely populated areas where there is a lot of road traffic.
According to the State Farm 2020 Annual Study, nearly two million vehicle-wildlife collisions occur each year in the United States alone, accounting for approximately 5% of motor vehicle collisions.
Thermal imaging solutions are a potential way to mitigate these often fatal collisions. Thermal imaging cameras can see much farther than headlights to detect large animals in a variety of driving conditions. They detect and measure a wavelength known as long-wavelength infrared (LWIR), or thermal energy, that radiates, absorbs, or is reflected from everything on earth. Therefore, it is possible to detect and classify animals in daylight, in total darkness or even with the sun in the eyes.
Prevent certain traffic accidents
Thermal imaging cameras from companies like Teledyne FLIR are already available on some vehicles. Due to their ability to detect body heat, they are considered to be very effective in preventing certain traffic accidents. Combining a thermal camera with an automatic braking system would be ideal, given the speed at which animals often move on the roads.
Therefore, FLIR has diversified into the consumer automotive industry and beyond. FLIR recently acquired Endeavor Robotic Holdings, a defense industry company specializing in ground robots, for a whopping $ 385 million. This acquisition came shortly after FLIR acquired the aerial drone company Aeryon for $ 200 million. And this just before the company announces that it has made a strategic investment in DroneBase, a company that provides companies with access to one of the largest networks of drone pilots.
FLIR is also actively involved in traffic management systems around the world. “FLIR traffic systems are currently installed in 75 countries and, with the addition of TrafiSense AI and TrafiCam AI, FLIR now offers a fully integrated solution that enables traffic engineers and city planners to apply knowledge-based learning. ‘AI to continuously optimize traffic’. says Rickard Lindvall, general manager of the Solutions business at FLIR Systems. “The integrated solution enables cities to improve urban road design to make cities safer and more livable. “
The company is rapidly positioning its thermal imaging technology to become indispensable in various high-risk detection environments.
FLIR’s thermal test vehicle recently demonstrated how adding a thermal sensor to radar and convolutional neural network (CNN) can improve the animal and pedestrian detection of today’s automatic emergency braking systems. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) are used to analyze images based on certain characteristics and can be trained to detect and classify wild animals. Teledyne FLIR has expanded its CNN to detect large animals, in addition to its current ability to detect pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles, cars, and many other kinds of road objects.
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