With the heated focus on self-driving vehicles, FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) has thrown its hat in the ring unveiling a next-generation thermal imaging camera that enhances the safety of driverless vehicles.
The company has also launched a portable diagnostic camera leveraging on heat properties targeted for vehicles repair.
During the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, FLIR will exhibit how the thermal cameras enhance the safety of advanced driver-assistance vehicles (ADAS) at the South Hall Three, booth #31166.
Features of the next generation FLIR ADK
The second generation thermal-vision Automotive Development Kit (ADKTM) features a high-resolution FLIR Boson® thermal camera core. The camera is specifically designed to help autonomous vehicles manufactures, suppliers and innovative automotive developers augment the security features of the self-driving vehicles.
The camera comes with machine-learning properties that aid in object classification whereas the ADK features provide essential data from the infrared in the electromagnetic field to aid in the driverless vehicle’s “judgment” especially in severe environments where the sensors are incapacitated like during darkness, fog, smoke or sun glare among others.
Among other features, the newly unveiled ADK is rated IP67 and now comes with an integrated heated window for advanced performance in all-weather testing. The kit is also equipped with Gigabit multimedia serial link, USB port, and an Ethernet connection to ease integration.
FLIR’s self-driving test car
As earlier mentioned, FLIR will be showcasing its proprietary thermal camera-enabled commercial test vehicle at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas. The vehicle has been equipped with multiple FLIR ADK cameras that give an all-directions view of the street.
The self-driving vehicle showcases the genius integration of ADK with radar, LIDAR, and thermal vision camera for over the top safety required in driverless vehicles today.
The thermal camera provision enhances automatic emergency braking (AEB). The Las Vegas demo will seek to justify the contributions of thermal imaging and machine learning properties to AEB functionality.
As said Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR put it, “For automated decision making on the roadway, thermal imaging cameras coupled with machine-learning capabilities provide the most effective method for pedestrian detection to save lives, particularly in cluttered environments or in poor visibility.”
Cannon adds that “FLIR thermal-enhanced autonomous test vehicle demonstrates how thermal cameras can significantly improve urban, highway, and AEB performance and the overall safety of self-driving cars.”
FLIR TG275 for vehicles diagnostics
FLIR will also be showcasing its first thermal camera targeted for automotive diagnostic. The device dubbed FLIR TG275senses abnormal heat emission on the vehicle given heat generation can signify a mechanical problem in multiple cases thus helping technicians or vehicle owners to spot the problem quickly before it manifests to a real mechanical problem.
The thermal camera will expedite the process vehicle diagnosis and provide customers with real evidence of the problem in image form.
FLIR’s stock is set to reap the benefits of such an augmented product line. The stock gained about 0.84% to close at $44.28 during the just concluded market day. Nonetheless, the stock is still trading close to its 52-week low of $40.52 coming in shy about $20 from its 52-week high of 63.88.
During the session, the stock spiked to a high $44.55 and a low of $43.70. As of this writing, the company prides a market cap of $6.13 billion.
Based on the company’s Q3 2018 earnings, it is safe to say that FLIR is in good shape financially. The company posted the highest gross margin in 5 years. FLIR generated gross revenue of $435 million, adjusted operating income of $106 million and relatively great adjusted earnings per share of $0.57.
The company also has numerous products in the pipeline and a couple in the near-commercialization phase.