FIRS - Far Infrared Sensors
Pedestrians on or near the road at Night time or in poor visibility offer a real accident risk and a major problem to existing sensor systems, that will only operate optimally with visible light. This limitation with sensor technology means that traditional night vision camera sensors are just not conducive to fully Autonomous vehicle systems.
To alleviate this major problem, vehicle manufacturers are now deploying heat sensing products known as, Far-Infrared Sensors or FIR. These sensors easily provide a heat profile of living objects in low or even zero light situations. The data from the FIR sensors is quickly processed within the pedestrian recognition algorithms.
Current FIR sensors have some limitations, being suited to colder environments and lower temperatures. During warmer evening, a persons temperature, whilst not being identical to the ambient temperature, may not be different enough for the normally low resolution FIR to detect readily or quickly enough. The answer to this problem and other related issues is with the use of higher resolution FIRS, which are actively being developed.