Plus (formerly Plus.ai) will collaborate with Teledyne FLIR on a development project to explore adding thermal cameras to the sensor stack used with Plus’s Level 4 autonomous driving technology. Plus utilizes a multi-modal sensor approach with LiDAR, cameras, and radar to provide trucks powered by its autonomous driving technology a 360-degree view around the vehicle.
“You can never be too safe when it comes to equipment you put on a heavy truck,” explained Tim Daly, Chief Architect of Plus. “Combining thermal cameras with our other sensors would bring an additional margin of safety to our system.”
The thermal cameras will provide additional perception capabilities for heavy trucks that regularly operate in a wide range of low-visibility and high-contrast environments, including at night or when encountering fog, smoke, headlight glare, or direct sunlight. Depending on the configuration, thermal cameras can detect and classify pedestrians at distances of up to 250 meters (820 feet), well beyond the reach of standard headlights. Thermal cameras also aid perception when the vehicle is operating in reverse.
“We are excited to be working with the team at Plus as they explore the integration of thermal cameras into their current sensor suite, creating even safer autonomous commercial vehicles,” said Paul Clayton, General Manager of Components, Industrial Technologies Segment at Teledyne FLIR. “By combining thermal imaging with visible light cameras, LiDAR, and radar, Plus can create more comprehensive and redundant systems, allowing these vehicles to more readily detect and classify objects and humans on the road to help save lives.”
“Our research pilot will not only assess the technical performance but also consider cost and scale requirements in order to potentially add this to our product roadmap,” Daly added.
New Plus Business Combination
On May 7th, 2021, Plus entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. Upon the closing of the proposed business combination, Plus will be a publicly-traded company, and its common stock is expected to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “PLAV.”
The proposed business combination has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Plus and Hennessy Capital. The closing of the proposed business combination is subject to approval by the Plus and Hennessy Capital stockholders and the satisfaction of the necessary regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.