VW is improving night driving safety with the introduction of thermal imaging to its Touareg model for detecting animals and pedestrians.
Volkswagen has introduced a number of new safety features into the Touareg model. This is the first vehicle in the VW range with the company’s Night Vision assist system. A thermal imaging camera (infrared camera) integrated at the front of the car registers infrared radiation coming from living organisms. If this camera detects people or animals, the assistant warns the driver within the limits of the system. This reduces the risk of endangering pedestrians, especially when away from well-lit city streets.
The infrared camera can register objects such as standing, non-concealed pedestrians, cyclists and larger wild animals at a range of 10 to 130 metres in front of the car. Once they reach a defined corridor or – in the case of people – once they are able to enter this corridor due to their trajectory, the driver is alerted via a screen in the Digital Cockpit – the Touareg’s digital instrument panel.
Outside the risk corridor, passers-by and animals are highlighted in yellow in the black and white image created by the night vision system. If they traverse certain boundaries along the road, the figures marked yellow become red. Even if the display for the Night Vision system is not activated in the Digital Cockpit, the screen automatically switches to this mode when danger is detected and at speeds exceeding 50 km/h, and displays people and animals in red. At speeds of less than 50 km/h, a red warning signal lights up in the instrument panel without an active display. In addition, an acoustic warning is issued in parallel in the (optional) head-up display (red signal). At the same time, the braking system is pre-set to immediately provide the highest deceleration rate.
Thanks to the new interactive “IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights” also available in the Touareg, people in a potential danger area are also briefly flashed at speeds of more than 60 km/h when not in urban areas to make them even more visible to the driver and as a warning (without dazzling the individuals concerned). This spotlight is exclusively offered in conjunction with Night Vision. With the combination of Night Vision and IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights, dangerous situations can thus be recognised much sooner and resolved.