Cutting the Costs: Affordable SWIR Cameras

April 26, 2020
Image sensor close-up photo in lab

Pricing is a crucial decision factor in the development of products in the automotive industry. The systems that underlie highly automated vehicles (L3 and above) are more costly compared to the prices of L1 and L2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Therefore, life-saving technology is only available to those who can afford it, putting cars on the road at a higher risk. As ADAS technology quickly develops, realizing its benefits requires that it be cost-effective.


The Cost Component

Today’s ADAS and Autonomous Vehicles (AV) help drivers and vehicles adapt to their surroundings and create a safer driving experience. Although these systems have already greatly increased driver safety, existing sensor technologies that could improve the experience even more are currently unavailable, mainly due to their high costs.

This point of consideration is critical—ADAS components need to be cost-effective in order to be considered by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers. In some cases, decision-makers are forced to choose pricing over the integration of cutting-edge technologies. This consideration enlarges the industry’s need for an affordable, reliable, and safe system, which can support HD vision in all driving conditions.

Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) cameras can allow for object and hazard detection even under the most challenging visibility conditions. Implementation of SWIR sensors in vehicles on the road would reduce room for human error and subsequently lower the number of car accidents that occur each year. But if SWIR is a viable solution, why hasn’t it already been used for this purpose?

While SWIR cameras have been solving the low visibility challenge by utilizing an exotic compound of materials, Indium-Gallium-Arsenide (InGaAs) for decades, the cost component has long been the barrier for their adoption. The manufacturing process of InGaAs is complex, expensive, has a long lead time, and the materials are scarce. Industries like defense, aerospace, and science are able to afford this technology, but several industries that would highly benefit from SWIR capabilities haven’t yet been able to tap into its potential.


The Future of Affordable SWIR cameras

The solution comes out of a decade of nanophotonics research by TriEye’s CTO, Prof. Uriel Levy. TriEye’s patent-pending technology is finally allowing SWIR to enter mainstream use. We have partnered with a leading foundry which has been able to fabricate TriEye’s unique sensor design at scale to support the automotive industry’s requirements and needs. This partnership has enabled TriEye to reduce expenditure by a thousand times the rate of existing InGaAs-based cameras.

Our CMOS-based SWIR camera is able to produce an HD image, but with incomparable efficacy under common low visibility scenarios. We at TriEye are committed to saving lives by harnessing SWIR capabilities for automotive applications, making superior vision accessible to all car owners, from budget to premium vehicles.

Recent posts