Ford Vehicle Night Vision Developed with TIG

Ford S2RV
Grand Award Winner

A concept vehicle based on the Ford Explorer, the S2RV (Smart, Safe Research Vehicle) showcases the cutting edge of automotive technology: voice-activated telematics, Bluetooth, and digital adaptive headlights that look around corners. Even more avant-garde, and giving us a glimpse into the future of car safety, are the systems that actively detect threats and warn the driver of problems before they happen.

TrafficView cameras mounted on the S2RV's side-view mirrors feed their signals to a display in the instrument cluster, giving you a clear view around that Winnebago. The active night-vision head-up display on the windshield images the road ahead using infrared lasers.

Popular Science December, 2003

The Ford "Smart Safe Research Vehicle" Wins Popular Science Magazine's "BEST OF WHAT'S NEW" Award

NEW YORK., Nov. 7 – Ford Motor Company’s latest technology concept vehicle has been named Popular Science magazine's "Best of What's New" grand prize winner in the Automotive Tech category.

The winning vehicle is called S2RV, which stands for "Smart Safe Research Vehicle." It combines advanced accident avoidance systems and intelligent vehicle technology in a modified Ford Explorer.

"Best of What’s New is the culmination of a year’s worth of searching, testing and deciding from among a huge range of products—all of which stand to change the way we live, work and play," said Scott Mowbray, editor in chief of Popular Science.

Each year, thousands of new products and breakthrough technologies vie for the attention of editors at Popular Science magazine. But only the best of the bunch—those products that inspire awe, envy, and admiration—are awarded inclusion in Best of What’s New, the highly anticipated December issue that ranks as the most widely-read issue of Popular Science of the year.

One winner in each category is awarded the highest honor, Grand Award, in recognition of products representing a leap over existing technologies…

…Active Night Vision – a laser, invisible to our eyes but visible to a camera, illuminates an area larger than the high beam headlights. An infrared sensor located inside the vehicle just above the rear view mirror views the scene and the clear, high contrast image is presented on a heads-up display mounted on the dash.

Excerpts from Ford press release.

“An advanced Active Night Vision system on the Model U will allow the driver to see well beyond the range of low-beam headlights during nighttime driving without affecting drivers in oncoming vehicles.

The system uses a near-infrared (NIR) diode laser, compact optics, a sensitive CCD camera and a heads-up display. The NIR light is invisible to the human eye, so the laser is used to illuminate the roadway with a high-beam pattern at all times without blinding oncoming drivers. Natural-looking video images that include lane markings and signs are shown on the heads-up display directly below the driver's view of the roadway.”

Bill Ford, Ford press release Sept. 24, 2004


"Other manufacturers, such as Lexus and Ford Motor, are opting to use 'near-infrared' cameras that they contend can generate more realistic images than the thermal images Raytheon's infrared system creates. Ford has developed its own near-infrared night vision that it says can see up to 300 yards out (vs. 500 yards for GM's system) but also sees farther off to the sides of the road and provides a driver-friendly display by showing road markers and reflective signs. Ford's system isn't scheduled for commercial production yet, but 'everybody [within the company] who has seen it is very excited about it,' says Jeffrey Remillard, a technology expert at Ford."

Business Week Online Sept 14, 2004

"...And, last but not least, the active night vision system uses a laser to 'illuminate' the surroundings, look through fog, and provide images that appear natural on the in-car display."

Car Design News 2003 Detroit Auto Show Ford concept car Model U

TIG's work with Ford Motor Company

Studies at TIG on the dynamics of technology development

Ford Vehicle Night Vision Developed with TIG

Surveillance & Security News About TIG-developed NIR Illuminators