Nighttime and harsh weather are considered the “achilles heels” of passive sensing modalities like traditional cameras. Even active sensing modalities like lidar sensors struggle under adverse weather conditions. Below we show compelling results from Vayu Sense, our next-generation sensor, that demonstrate its ability to outperform traditional sensing modalities that result in far more robust 2D and 3D perception.

Mobileye's camera-based system is widely used in most advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on vehicles today. A comparison of Mobileye's performance in day and nighttime is shown below. It is evident that detection of lane markers, vehicles and pedestrians during nighttime is severely limited.

RGB Camera + Mobileye Output for lane detection during the day
RGB Camera + Mobileye Output for lane detection at night

In order to overcome this common challenge that occurs in most vision systems like Mobileye's, Vayu Sense probes properties of the photon that enable enhanced contrast in scenarios with low ambient illumination. The figures below show scenes comparing Vayu Sense with automotive-grade HDR cameras with 105 dB dynamic range at night. The following results clearly illustrate that HDR cameras with up to 105 dB dynamic range completely miss pedestrians and vehicles at night. On the other hand, Vayu Sense offers superior contrast at night using a CMOS sensor with just 70 dB dynamic range. These results occur under the same aperture and exposure conditions.

Automotive HDR camera at night vs Vayu Sense pedestrian detection
Automotive HDR camera at night vs Vayu Sense vehicle detection

Wet, rainy roads is another challenging road condition that we are all quite familiar. This situation tends to create many false positives for cameras and can even trick lidar sensors because of the specular nature of the road surface. Below you can see how Vayu Sense removes reflections completely from the image, creating enhanced contrast and improved perception.

Regular camera vs Vayu Sense for sensing rainy roads

Fog can be challenging for both cameras and lidar sensors because of the additional scattering of photons, which leads to poor visibility. The result below shows Vayu Sense’s ability to “defog” the scene, enhancing the detection of a pedestrian in the distance as well as the drivable road surface, which can be critical to continued mobility.

Vayu Sense viewing a road and pedestrian in fog

Vayu Sense is a sensor that can challenge traditional cameras and lidar with robust performance across a variety of light and weather conditions.