JANUARY 10--Night Vision, developed by Raytheon Commercial Infrared (Dallas, TX; www.raytheoninfrared.com), producer of infrared thermal-imaging cameras and technology for industrial, security, fire-fighting, law-enforcement, and automotive applications, will be available in the Volvo XC90 Sport Utility Vehicle unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI, recently. Volvo is the first European manufacturer to incorporate Night Vision into its design and illustrates the system's expanding market appeal.
The Volvo Night Vision system has a 50% wider field of view and a unique "Deployed Combiner Mirror" head-up display that folds flush into the dashboard above the instrument cluster when not in use. Raytheon engineers were brought into the XC90's early design stages to integrate the system into the car's overall packaging requirements.
Night Vision is an automotive thermal-imaging system that allows drivers to see several times farther than standard low-beam headlights, thus giving them an edge in avoiding collisions at night or in foggy conditions. The system utilizes an infrared thermal imager located directly above the car's front bumper to detect the small differences of temperature emitted by all objects. It then converts these differences into a real-time video image displayed in front of the driver. Warm objects such as people, animals, and recently driven cars stand out white against cooler surroundings. Because Night Vision is sensitive only to infrared, ambient light and oncoming headlights do not affect the system and will not add unnecessary glare.