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Automotive night vision market to reach US$5 B. by 2016: ABI research.

Taipei, May 5, 2011 (CENS)--Advanced automotive-electronics systems are playing increasingly important roles in active driving safety, and now night vision appears set for steady growth after predecessors such as high-intensity discharge (HID), Xenon, or light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps as well as many other active-safety systems.

ABI Research forecasts that night vision installations will grow from 103,000 worldwide (valued at US$373 million) in 2010 to 1.7 million (about US$5 billion) by 2016. Night-vision system was first used by the military then adopted by upscale passenger cars over 10 years ago.

ABI says that statistics show accidents are significantly more likely at night than daytime, an issue addressed by carmakers and tier-1 suppliers. HID, Xenon lamps and automatic high-low beams are solutions that offer brighter headlights that do not blind oncoming drivers; while emerging LED technology allows more design freedom and other advantages.

"Night vision has always been considered an interesting but expensive luxury feature," says ABI Research principal analyst David Alexander, "although when the second generation went into production in 2008, it included pedestrian detection. Development has continued since then to add more capabilities, and we expect future versions to be able to identify other types of moving obstacle such as dogs and deer."

Availability is still limited to high-end luxury brands, but has been broadened to more models in the last 12 months. Both active and passive versions of the technology are gradually attracting customers. The automatic pedestrian detection warning is particularly valuable when driving on unlit roads, and can also sometimes help to highlight hidden people in the daytime.

"Adaptive headlights are another aid for night driving," said research director Larry Fisher. "This feature uses sensors to determine when the vehicle is entering a curve, and provides angled illumination so that the driver can see further than with conventional headlights that shine straight ahead."

Adaptive headlights and night vision are not strictly competing with each other as they each provide unique benefits to nighttime driving safety. Adaptive headlights will be available on a much wider range of models than night vision, so volumes will be higher.

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Author:Liang, Quincy
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:May 5, 2011
Words:352
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