Honda has developed the world’s first Intelligent Night Vision System which could dramatically cut night time pedestrian casualties. The system is already available in the Japanese market Honda Legend.

The new system uses “far infrared” cameras to detect pedestrians in or approaching the vehicle’s path and provides the driver with visual and audio cautions to help prevent an accident. The Intelligent Night Vision System uses images obtained from two far infrared cameras positioned in the lower section of the front bumper to detect the position and movement of infrared heat-emitting objects and determine whether they are in or approaching the vehicle’s path.

Based on size and shape, the system also determines if the detected object is a pedestrian. In addition to the conventional night vision function of giving the driver an enhanced view of the road ahead, the system is the world’s first to provide cautions that inform the driver of the presence of pedestrians who are on the road or about to cross the vehicle’s path.

According to Britain’s Department of Transport, there are twice the number of pedestrian fatalities during the winter darkness months of November, December and January, than during the May, June, July summer period. Pedestrian fatalities make up more than one fifth of all traffic accident fatalities in Britain, but the situation is even worse in Japan where the number rises to approximately one in three.

Honda cannot confirm when or indeed if “Intelligent Night Vision” will be available in Britain.