Engineers of Sony have developed the CMOS sensor capable of providing the accurate image when shooting in darkness. The organic matrix doesn’t demand the mechanical infrared filter & allows to keep high specification of a picture without loss of definition. The technology is focused on use in the self-driving cars, industrial cameras & systems of video surveillance.
Sony used two different layers of an organic film. One of them has good sensitivity in a visible range & another — in the near infrared range. Switching between color & the IR-mode is made by means of tension: at average values, the sensor works as a usual CMOS matrix & under more high voltage both layers of a film work & the camera can film in almost total darkness. Analogs only modify the scheme of sensors, replacing a green subpixel in RGGB scheme with IR-radiation passing filter. Only a fourth part of sensitive elements is involved.
Video cameras are highly substantial for self-driving cars as radar detection or a laser on it. These devices are used to track pedestrians, signs, obstacles & other hindrances on car’s way. The majority of such cameras can’t help a driver with outdoor lighting, like brightly flickering light-emitting diode lights or arrival in an underpass if surrounding street is bright. Sony created a new module for a camera to bypass this hindrance. It possesses a high photosensitivity, removal of blinking & support of high definition so the self-driving cars could work in circumstances, which don’t correspond to ideal.
Entrance & departure from tunnels is followed with big brightness differences. In a piece of Sony’s video, the ordinary camera doesn’t catch anything, except the light at departure from an underpass. With the help of HDR & removal of blinking, including in the system, the module easily adapts to the changes of the intensity of the light & even sees the blinking LED lights.
Parameters of the new camera impress. The minimum photosensitivity helps to see different road elements in the dark night without street lighting. Also, it has the sensitivity of HDR at the level of 120 dB that is enough for work in tunnels & at night driving in city conditions. Blinking is cleaned by means of longer time of an exposition. It works with HDR as cases in which both technologies are necessary at the same time often occur.
Sony claims that the device conforms to all requirements, which are responsible for automobile reliability & safety. It makes the new device demanded on the market of vehicles. Now council for automobile safety of the EU will include pedestrians who go at night, as obstacles for testing of systems of automatic braking of cars in 2018. Next month the company plans to release the first models of the camera & to begin its mass production in March 2018.