For the automated vehicles, now it is possible to have cameras which can see even in the dark, Sony has launched automotive CMOS image sensor IMX224MQV which can shoot pictures even in extreme lowlight conditions, such as night even without moonlight.
IMX224MQV can take pictures with light conditions of levels 0.005 lux, that’s sensitivity which eyes fail to see.
Cameras placed on the four sides of the car can assist driver on any obstacle or approaching object, cameras designed using image sensors such as IMX224MQV can enhance the performance of such driver assistance systems even during lowlight conditions such as nighttime driving. This clearly enhances the reliability of camera based driver assistance systems.
On the certification requirements IMX224MQV is ISO/TS 16949 certified which is a requirement in the automotive industry.
IMX224MQV sensor is developed using a technology with low level of sensitivity of 2,350 mV (standard F5.6), the highest in the industry as per Sony.
Sony has used photodiodes to effectively convert photons into electrons and says it has installed circuit’s to improve the conversion efficiency of those electrons into voltage. Sony has also integrated programmable gain amplifier which can amplify very low level electrical signals up to 72 DB.
All this means IMX224MQV CMOS image sensor can capture colour images even on a dark road at night with no stars to illuminate the surroundings.
Sony says “This image sensor also supports a WDR (Wide Range Dynamic) system that allows for extended exposure time, which, when compared to conventional multi-exposure WDR systems, makes possible improved image quality in low light conditions when combined with a compatible ISP (Image Signal Processor)”
Most of the cameras shooting in the night use infrared, even this CMOS image sensor can sense near infrared light outside the visual spectrum provided there is a near infrared irradiating LED.