Denso announces it has developed a new standard vision sensor that detects pedestrians and cyclists as well as road signs, driving lanes and other objects in and alongside roads at night. Working in conjunction with a millimeter-wave radar sensor, the vision sensor allows automobiles to automatically activate emergency braking when obstacles are identified, helping reduce accidents, the supplier says in a news release.

The sensor improves night vision by using a lens specifically designed for low-light use, and a solid-state imaging device with high sensitivity. These innovations help the sensor better identify other road users and different-shaped road signs, such as triangular, rectangular and octagonal signs used in Japan, Europe and the U.S.

An improved white-line detection algorithm and road-edge detection algorithm in the sensor also broaden the operating range of lane-keeping assistance and lane-departure-alert functions, while a 40% size reduction from previous models reduces costs and makes installation easier.

The sensor is featured in the 2018 Toyota Alphard and Vellfire multipurpose vehicles, which were released this year. The MPVs are sold in Japan, China, Russia and smaller Asian and  Middle Eastern countries.