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IR Blind-Spot Detection Testing Extended

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2002
Autosense Ltd. of Denver and Ford Motor Co. of Dearborn, Mich., have agreed to expand testing of a low-cost blind-spot detection system that uses low-power IR lasers to locate vehicles in adjacent lanes. The Autosense-owned system, called SideMinder, has been under development since 1985 and could cost as little as $100 to manufacture.

The system uses seven 940-nm laser diodes with outputs of up to 700 mW for sensing boundaries up to 8 m from the vehicle in 10-cm increments. Production models are likely to use nonlasing, 880-nm emitters.

Ford will test the system on several of its platforms as well as present it to its subsidiaries and related companies. Warren Hyland, president of Autosense, said Ford's participation is expected to produce enough demand to make production of the system viable for a supplier. Autosense could not fill smaller requests for detectors from Ford subsidiary Volvo Car Corp. or General Motors in Detroit, Hyland said, because it "could not get a supplier to come to the table."

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