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Owl Autonomous Imaging (Owl AI) has launched a monocular 3D Thermal Ranger computer vision product for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles.
The company has also launched an Evaluation Kit for their Thermal Ranger that gives Tier 1 and OEM automotive companies the ability to easily evaluate Owl AI’s Thermal Ranger imaging solution for use in their Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Breaking (PAEB) applications.
Thermal imaging can allow systems to identify objects and ranging in complete darkness or blinding light, things that traditional autonomous vehicles and ADAS sensors, like cameras, typically struggle with. Owl AI’s monocular thermal camera system enables 2D and 3D perception for object classification, 3D segmentation of objects, RGB-to-thermal fusion and distance measurements.
“Our unique, patented solutions deliver panoramic thermal imaging and dense range maps are superior to HDR RGB cameras, and/or LiDAR or RADAR sensors for difficult night and blinding light situations,” Chuck Gershman, CEO of Owl Autonomous Imaging, said in a release. “Unlike cumbersome stereo camera approaches, a single Owl AI 3D thermal camera delivers distance information throughout the entire field of view (FOV) and is immune to vehicle vibration for reliable and robust mapping. Thermal sensing is an important camera modality which can see in complete darkness as well as in blinding light, which is critical for pedestrian safety.”
Thermal imaging systems like Owl AI’s can be especially useful for identifying living objects, like pedestrians, cyclists and animals, in all conditions, whether it be in the middle of the day, at night or during harsh weather.
Owl AI’s 3D Thermal Ranger provides VGA image resolution, but the company hopes that in the near future, the Ranger can provide a 150 times improvement in resolution and cloud density over other sensing modalities. The system can detect pedestrians, cyclists, animals and other vehicles while also calculating their position and direction.
The company’s Evaluation Kit for the Thermal Ranger platform consists of a hardware and software kit that can help automotive companies to evaluate the platform for use in their applications. The Evaluation Kit supports SAE L2, L2+, L3 and L4 requirements.
The Thermal Ranger Platform consists of a thermal imaging camera, a NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin AI processor and the Owl AI software suite including Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), ROS applications, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) frameworks, drivers and necessary cables and adapters.
The system also comes with all required software installed and ready to use. This includes the software required for the operation of the NVIDIA processor, as well as the following modules:
- Owl AI/ML Neural Networks
- Autonomous Emergency Braking application
- 3D Birds-eye-view application
- Object segmentation
- Raw thermal video viewer
- Raw thermal video recorder
- Thermal with both 2D and 3D bounding boxes and colorized range data
Owl AI was founded in 2018 by Chuck Gershman and Eugene Petilli. The company has raised a total of $16.2 million to date, according to Crunchbase.