Driving assistance and autonomous driving systems need to be able to operate even in conditions of low visibility or complete darkness.
Thermal sensors provide an advantage in such situations due to their independence from ambient light levels and their passive nature (no need to illuminate the scene). Used with other sensors, they enable accurate detection and classification of surrounding objects, such as vehicles, people, animals and other obstacles, and also improve the reliability and redundancy required for self-driving cars.
STMicroelectronics and AdaSky have collaborated on a silicon solution. Using ST's proprietary 28nm FD-SOI technology delivering high-performance processing capabilities, AdaSky designed the chip in-house and then worked with ST for implementation and testing. Viper is a complete sensing solution from AdaSky combining a FIR (Far Infrared) thermal camera with computer-vision algorithms to enable vehicles to sense and analyze their surroundings in any weather or lighting condition.
Further information about Adasky can be found at https://www.adasky.com/