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Reaching New Wavelengths: Researchers extend automotive non-line-of-sight imagine for enhanced safety

Tianjin, China — Researchers from Tianjin University in China have developed a new type of detector to extend a vehicle’s range of sight and detect objects–even if they are around an immediate corner or behind a wall.

To do this, an advanced light-sensing component–known as a “superconducting nanowire single-photon detector”–is used. Unlike traditional line-of-sight imaging techniques such as LiDAR, non-line-of-sight imaging detects very sensitive imaging points thus allowing for a greater range of visibility detection.

According to the researchers from Tianjin University who worked on developing the technology, non-line-of-sight imaging detectors are beneficial to the automotive industry because they could potentially reduce crash risks by allowing vehicles to anticipate surroundings past what a driver could see. The technology could also be used in autonomous vehicles.

“Infrared non-line-of-sight imaging can improve the safety and efficiency of unmanned vehicles by helping them detect and navigate around obstacles that are not directly visible,” said Xiaolong Hu, a researcher from the university whose team helped collaborate on the project.

With the advancement in this technology, researchers now want to experiment with using non-line-of-sight detectors to achieve imaging over even longer distances than currently possible.

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