SEOUL -- Hanwha Systems, a key defense contractor in South Korea, will lead the development of high-performance night vision technology based on thermal imaging cameras for autonomous driving. Night vision is the ability to see in low-light conditions and uses far-range infrared sensors.
Hanwha Systems said it has participated in a consortium led by Erae AMS, an automotive parts maker, that was selected as a preferred bidder for a project to develop a thermal imaging fusion 3D camera that can respond day and night.
By January 2025, the consortium will develop a 3D fusion camera with AI-based deep learning technology that can accurately recognize objects more than 250 meters away in a level 4 autonomous driving environment that requires no intervention from drivers.
"We will strive to fully bloom South Korea's night vision industry based on our world-class technology in developing thermal imaging cameras for the first time in South Korea," said Hanwha Systems CEO Kim Youn-chul. Hanwha System has entered the night vision market through a consignment production agreement with Truwin, a company specializing in motor vehicle-related sensors.
Hanwha Systems will develop XGA-class (1024X768 pixels) night vision by applying an intelligent thermal imaging engine module called "Quantum Red" that strengthened temperature measurement functions. The module increases the reliability of thermal imaging cameras for detecting human heat and can be applied to night vision sensors for self-driving technologies.
Quantum Red consists of an optical meter, a detector and a signal processing module. Hanwha Systems thinks it has the potential for various applications in fields that require absolute temperature measurement. Hanwha Systems has installed infrared image signal processing technology into an integrated circuit called System on Chip (SoC) that integrates all or most components of a computer or other electronic system.
"In the future, we will continue to secure opportunities for growth by expanding our business to air mobility beyond commercializing night vision for vehicles," Kim said, referring to urban air mobility (UAM), an ecosystem covering personal air vehicles and infrastructure. Flying cars are emerging as a future system of travel to avoid traffic jams on urban roads.
Hanwha Systems is a key member of UAM Team Korea, a public-private consultative body that would commercialize drone taxis in 2025. With its American partner, Overair, Hanwha Systems aims to test an air taxi capable of flying at a maxim speed of 320 kilometers (199 miles) per hour.
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