FLIR PathFindIR II PD/AD Driver Vision Vehicle Thermal Imager

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PathfindIR II PD/AD 30Hz Camera

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Features

  • PathFindIR 2 PD/AD
  • 30Hz Complete
  • Add thermal night vision to your vehicle
  • Increase safety when driving in rural/foggy areas
  • Automatically detects people and animals (PD/AD version)
  • Simple installation
  • Avoid costly/deadly collisions
  • 320x240 thermal camera system with a 24° field of view
  • Rugged, IP69 rated housing

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$1,497.00

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Product Information

FLIR PathFindIR II PD/AD Driver Vision Enhancement System

FLIR PathFindIR
FLIRPathFindIR_II_img1 FLIRPathFindIR_II_img2   FLIRPathFindIR_II_img3  


The FLIR PathFindIR II PD/AD is a powerful thermal night vision camera that lets you see clearly in total darkness, regardless of the vehicle you’re driving or the road you’re on.

Unique in the industry, PathFindIR II PD/AD is an automotive-qualified system that is hermetically sealed, rated to IP-69, with an integrated, automatic window heater. It uses 12 VDC input power, and standard NTSC or PAL video is output for compatibility with most monitors or displays. If you do not have monitor, there is an aftermarket installation kit that includes one, as well as mounting hardware for both the camera and the ECU (electronics control unit).


PathFindIR is intended for integration into vehicles as an aftermarket addition. A full-feature system, PN 334-0008-00 (military non-logo version SB 334-009-00) is also available for OEM applications such as maritime, military vehicles, security, and other uses that can be satisfied with basic video output and 36° field of view.
 

PathFindIR is based on a 320x240 thermal camera system with a 38-micron pixel pitch, and integral 19mm lens. For applications that require wider or narrower fields of view, choices of AGC levels, color, digital zoom, higher resolutions, or smaller packing volume, FLIR recommends the Tau 2  or Quark.  

FLIR PathFindIR

FLIR PathFindIR Driver Vision Vehicle Thermal Imager

Rugged design

The thermal imaging camera inside the PathFindIR II is completely sealed and extremely rugged.

Simple installation

The PathFindIR II is a compact, sealed imaging system that fits easily behind vehicle grilles and in other compact locations.

Affordable price

Simple integration and low cost enables new and exciting opportunities.

Optimized for driving applications

A new tool that can make driving during night time and in  bad  weather  conditions  safer.
 

CAUTION:

PathFindIR and PathFindIR II are designed for commercial, over the road, automotive applications. While many other applications are possible, each user should carefully consider additional protection and installation methods that might be required for any given application. Mechanical, environmental and electrical requirements should be evaluated to assure that PathFindIR and PathFindIR II can be utilized with satisfactory results. Particular attention needs to be given to the electrical system that will power the PathFindIR or PathFindIR II as the camera is designed for the automotive 12 VDC power environment and conforms to ISO 7637-2 requirements for transients and disturbances on the typical automotive power system. If the PathFindIR or PathFindIR II is installed in applications other than commercial automobiles, additional power conditioning or protection may be required.
 

PathFindIR II See Clearly in Total Darkness


PathFindIR II is a powerful thermal night vision system that lets you see road hazards clearly in total darkness, detecting and alerting you to nearby vehicles, people, and animals.
 

See Farther Than Ever Before
Headlights usually only let you see about 450’ straight ahead, but PathFindIR II sees heat not light, so you can see everything in front of you up to four times farther down the road. Now you can see clearly, night and day, in good weather and bad, without being blinded by the glare of oncoming headlights. And when you can see farther you have more time to react. More time means more options, smoother driving in emergencies and more room to stop. It’s the one thing that can help you avoid traffic accidents. With PathFindIR, you can see pedestrians, cars, animals, and virtually any other hazard from farther away, and as they approach the road from either side.

Benefits of PathFindIR II:

  • See in total darkness
  • Automatic detection and alerts of Pedestrians and Animals
  • See pedestrians and vehicles past the glare of oncoming headlights
  • See many hazards over four times farther away than with headlights
  • See through dust and smoke
  • Have more time to react
  • Help avoiding accidents and staying safe
FLIRPathFindIR_II_img1 FLIRPathFindIR_II_img2   FLIRPathFindIR_II_img3  
 

Applications

The PathFindIR is used in a variety of transportation and driving vision enhancement applications. While the unit is designed for automotive and trucking OEM's such as BMW, the PathFindIR has found its way into a variety of other OEM segments. Fire Rescue, recreational vehicles, maritime, and UGV's are all benefiting from the compact, sealed package and fast integration design.

Vehicle OEM (Heavy Trucking)
Truck OEM's, and large vehicle OEM's, benefit from the PathFindIR in many ways. Simply put, the increased detection (up to 4 times farther than that of traditional headlights) of potential hazards in the road and in the ditches provides significant increases in reaction time. OEM integration into new models is easy and affordable.

Recreational Vehicles (Class A, C, Super C)
Recreational Vehicles are a perfect fit for the PathFindIR. Because of their size, expense of repair and typical rural driving locations thermal imaging is a necessity to help guide and assist your clients to their destination safely.

Mining
Phoenix Products has incorporated the PathFindIR into their IS1000 driving vision system for many mining applications. Shovel and scoop vehicles benefit from thermal imaging by being able to see through dust and debris, even at night, assuring that the product gets to the haul truck efficiently and without delay. Haul trucks benefit from thermal imaging by assuring safe driving to the dump location. Vibration dampening, mining certified enclosure, industrial grade monitor, and removeable high impact optic make the IS1000 a perfect fit for many mining applications.

Emergency Response Vehicles
OEM's in the fire rescue community have incorporated the PathFindIR on their ARFF vehicles for driving vision enhancement and snozzle mounted fire control system.

Since thermal imaging sees through smoke, the fire fighters are able to detect the areas of concern and arrive safely at the scene.

Passenger Vehicle Aftermarket
Aftermarket mobile video companies such as NAV TV Corporation have designed interface kits to provide factory navigation systems to accept and control the PathFindIR driving vision system. Range Rover and Mercedes are two of the latest interface kits currently available through NAV TV.
 
FeaturesBenefits
High Impact Optic Rugged design assures operability even in the toughest environments
Optimized lens 24° FOV lens balances longer detection range with viewing of either side of road
Optical Heater Automatically activates when temperature reaches 4°C providing use in cold weather conditions
Sealed Design IP69 rated, hermetically sealed providing extra insurance in all weather conditions
Small form factor 2.6" × 3.4" × 3.2" allows integration into many tight spaces or OEM systems
Resolution 320×240 resolution provides crisp clean images and greater viewing distances
Digital Data and Control sets Provides OEM's with more features and integration possibilities (requires custom cable and LIN converter)

BMW incorporates thermal imaging cameras in its cars
Lowering the risks of nocturnal driving

Bayerische Motoren Werke, worldwide known as BMW, is one of the most prestigious car brands in the world. It stands for luxury, high-quality, safe and environmental friendly cars, all equipped with the latest technology.
 

Safety is an issue which is taken very seriously within the BMW Group. New technologies are introduced to avoid accidents and to reduce the number of injuries in case an accident should occur.


Nocturnal driving: twice the risk of an accident as compared to driving during the day.

Accident statistics show that driving at night represents a significant potential danger. In Germany, some 50 per cent of fatal car accidents happen at night, although an average of 75 per cent of all driving is done during the day. This means that the risk of driving at night is twice as high as during the day. A similar situation is to be found in the US. With a 28 per cent share of all driving, 55 per cent of all fatal accidents occur at night.
 

Accident statistics throughout Europe as a whole also justify intensive consideration of the issue of nocturnal driving. According to estimates, approx. 560,000 people are injured in the dark in Europe and some 23,000 are killed.

 

The darkly dressed jogger in the half light, the insufficiently lit cyclist at night: the increased risk to pedestrians poses one of the biggest safety problems in the dark. Here again, the Federal Office for Statistics is clear: over 25,000 accidents per year involving pedestrians and cyclists occur during the night in Germany

 

The reasons are obvious: poor or significantly limited sight conditions on highways and country roads, obstacles or narrow bends which are recognised too late with the low beam, inappropriate judgement of speed or distance due to a lack of orientation for the eye, driving into the “black hole” of the headlights of oncoming traffic, possibly exacerbated by wet, reflecting road surfaces – just to mention a few examples.

 

Our eyes are the first line of defense against these hazards. Unfortunatelly, eyes are not the best detectors and they can use some assistance when driving at night to avoid accidents.


Making night time driving safer

For years, BMW has developed innovative technologies which provide relief for drivers at night and thus at the same time improve general road safety. Innovations include Xenon lights, which provides significantly increased brilliance and range, “Adaptive Headlights”, whose horizontally swiveling headlamps ensure considerably improved illumination of the road ahead and “High Beam Assistant” which turns the headlights automatically on and off, are just a few innovations that can be installed in BMW models and help drivers during night time driving.


BMW Night Vision

Another recent innovation to help drivers see better at night and in the most diverse weather conditions, is the “BMW Night Vision” system.
 

The core of this system is a FLIR Systems thermal imaging camera. BMW is the first European premium car manufacturer that started to implement this technology in its cars.

 

“We started to develop the system in 2002.”, says Mr. Russ, a BMW engineer who helped head the system’s design efforts. “At the end of 2005, we started marketing our Night Vision systems as an option on our BMW 7-series models. Today, the Night Vision system can be ordered as an option on our 7-, 6- and 5-series models.”

 

“The first aim of the BMW Night Vision systems is to detect living objects, such as pedestrians and animals, which are not illuminated in total darkness.”, explains Mr. Russ. “With a thermal imaging camera, people can be detected at a range of about 300m. This is much further than with headlights. Early detection of people means less deadly accidents. But also the early detection of animals, especially in North European countries, is saving the lives of drivers. Hitting e.g. a moose can result in heavy injuries and even death.


Thermal imaging sees more than the naked eye

But a thermal imaging camera can see more than just living objects. By allowing drivers to see thermal images of the road ahead - well beyond what headlights illuminate - drivers are able to detect obstacles, other cars, curves in the road, ... much sooner and have more time to react. Thanks to thermal imaging, drivers can more quickly detect and recognize potential hazards and avoid deadly accidents.

 

Due to its long range detection capability (up to 300m for a human being, more than 800 m for a 2.3 x 2.3 m object), BMW Night Vision provides a time gain of about 5 seconds at a speed of 100 km/h compared to high beam headlights. This means that drivers have more time to react and can avoid accidents.


A rugged system

“The thermal imaging camera is installed in the front bumper, at the left. Incorporating it into a car is not a big challenge. Only two additional hardware components are needed: the camera and the control unit.”, continuous Mr. Russ. “The camera is well protected against harsh driving conditions. Rain, salt spray, and small rocks hitting the front of the camera are not affecting it.”

 

The camera has a built-in heater to defrost its protective window. This heater is capable of defrosting a 2mm layer of ice frozen to the window within 15 minutes when ambient temperature is -30°C and wind speed against the window is 100 km/hr. The heater is automatically powered when window temperature is less than +4°C and powered down when window temperature is more than +6°C. This ensures a clear lens and perfect infrared images displayed on the monitor even in extremely cold environments.

 

A camera cleaner jet can be activated along with the windscreen washer system. It ensures that the lens stays clean at all times. A wiper is not installed and not needed.
 

Crisp thermal image in the peripheral view of the driver

The BMW Night Vision system is turned on and off using a switch next to the light switch. The 320 x 240 pixels image is displayed on the centrally placed on-board monitor in the dashboard. It is installed in conjunction with the navigation system Professional.
 

“We decided to show the image of the thermal camera in the centrally located monitor.”, says Mr. Russ. “It is not in the direct sight of the driver but the human eye can easily and quickly detect moving things in its peripheral view. Once a moving object is detected, the driver can have a quick glance at the screen to see what is happening.” The monitor quickly becomes a natural checkpoint for the driver similar to side view or rearview mirrors.
 

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“We deliberately chose not to place the monitor in the direct view of the driver. The distraction would be far too high when something is moving in the image.”, explains Mr. Russ.

At speeds below 80 km/h, the wide horizontal field of view (36°) of the thermal imaging camera assures that not only the road can be seen but also the areas at the side of the road and surroundings. (bicyclists, pedestrians, children, wild animals, ...) At a high speed the field of view is automatically narrowed to 24°. At the same time, the field of view follows the turning of the road up to 6° left or right. This so called panning movement is controlled by the parameter “steering of the wheels”. A digital zoom can be activated which displays objects at further distance in a 1.5:1 enlargement.

 

Night Vision: Two Different Technologies


PathFindIR II is a powerful thermal night vision system that lets you see road hazards clearly in total darkness, detecting and alerting you to nearby vehicles, people, and animals.

There are today two different technologies on the market for night vision systems. Far Infrared (FIR) also called Passive Infrared and Near Infrared (NIR) also called Active Infrared.

 

The NIR system beams infrared radiation into the area in front of the vehicle. The infrared beamers are often incorporated in the headlights. The infrared radiation is reflected by objects, the road and human beings and converted to an image which can be displayed on a screen. FIR, like used in the BMW Night Vision, registers the differences in heat, or infrared radiation, emitted by objects and human beings. It does not need a separate light source from the vehicle.
 

“The decision to choose for FIR technology instead of NIR technology needed to be taken at the beginning of the Night Vision project. At that point in time, FIR was to our opinion the best system. For other purposes NIR may be better suited but, to our opinion, not for the use in vehicles to detect people and other objects. Tests showed that we could see much further with FIR and detect pedestrians and obstacles sooner. Furthermore, the distance that you can see with NIR is not only shorter but it is highly dependant on the power of the infrared beamers.”, explains Mr. Russ. “Today we are convinced that FIR outperforms NIR in a large number of situations.
 

Not only can FIR detect objects and people at a longer range, it also contains less components so it is less susceptible to breakdowns. Another major advantage is that FIR is not sensitive to the headlights of oncoming traffic, street lights and powerfully reflecting surfaces such as traffic signs. Since NIR systems are using light waves as the basis for their image, especially light intensive objects appear brightly on the screen. This also applies to the infrared beamers of a NIR system when it is detected by another NIR system. This means that the driver can be blinded.

 

FIR systems, like the BMW Night Vision, are producing a comprehensive image based on the differences in heat radiation of objects and people. Even when these temperature differences are sometimes minimal, a FIR system will detect them and transform them into a crisp image. FIR systems are not affected by light and there is no risk that the driver is blinded by oncoming headlights or other light sources.

 

A NIR system is giving a complete image of the road, including road marks. Although at a first glance this may seem an advantage, it delays the detection of people and objects within the image. And although the image generated by an NIR system is initially processed more quickly by users, after a period of familiarization with the FIR system the opposite is true. Many drivers prefer the image generated by a FIR system since they can detect objects, animals and people a lot clearer and faster.
 

BMW Night Vision is the beginning of a development

As with the introduction of other innovations, there will be several stages of development with BMW Night Vision. “Improvement for the future lies in increasing the image quality.”, explains Mr. Russ. “Thermal imaging in cars was initially developed for military users where image quality was not that important. Although the camera is already producing a clear, crisp, detailed image, one of the next steps could be to even further improve the image quality. Another, maybe even more important area for research is the implementation of software that is able to identify pedestrians or critical situations within the general traffic environment.”

 

Initial steps to this so-called object detection have been taken. However, the performance and quality is, not yet, in line with the extremely high demands set by BMW and its customers.
 

view_of_the_driver_img_tnIncreasing safety and driving pleasure without taking away responsibility

Just like other safety features in a car, BMW Night Vision was created to increase driver and passenger safety. By presenting the driver with additional and early information, potential danger can be avoided. More information is a bonus in road traffic. Up to 50% of all serious accidents are caused by the fact that the driver did not have the information early enough to avoid the accident.

 

The BMW Night Vision system also offers the user more driving pleasure. The increased situational awareness provides relief for the driver during a strenuous nocturnal trip.
 

BMW Night Vision does however not offer total safety. Promising this would be misleading and unjust. It is important that its potential is understood but it is even more important to realize that the driver is the master of his vehicle and that reckless driving will always cause accidents and injuries. No matter how many safety features are implemented in a vehicle.

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FLIR PathFindIR II Driver Vision Vehicle Thermal Imager
Sensor Type 320 x 240 Uncooled Microbolometer
Field-of-View 24° (h) x 18° (v)
Spectral Band 8-14 microns (LWIR)
Sealed Design IP69 rated, hermetically sealed providing extra insurance in all weather conditions
Outputs NTSC
Power
Power Requirements 12 VDC
Power Consumption 2 W (6 W w/heater on)
1.8 A max. system current
Spectral Band 8-14 microns (LWIR)
Environmental
Operating Temperature -40°C to 80°C
Weather Resistance (Camera) Hermetically Sealed, Automotive Qualified
Weather Resistance (ECU) Non-Hermetic; Passenger Compartment mount required
Window High-Impact Resistant Optic w/ Built-in Automatic Heating Element
  Replaceable Window
Physical
Camera Dimensions 2.6" × 3.4" × 3.2" (60 × 86 × 82 mm )
Camera Weight 0.6 lb (300 g)
ECU Dimensions 5.8" × 4.3" × 0.9" (148 × 110 × 24 mm )
ECU Weight 0.7 lb (350 g)