PathFindIR by FLIR Review Sep 13, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
Seeing the road around you at any time of the day is no longer an issue thanks to PathFindIR by FLIR. This infrared Driver Vision Enhancement System is ideal for helping you drive in the dark or at other times with limited visibility. This aftermarket upgrade is designed to provide the driver with visibility at night or in other dark conditions—not to a mention the “cool” factor.
If you are contemplating using PathFindIR, you should be aware of its price tag. It comes with a hefty upfront cost, with the current PathFindIR II in its basic form costing $2,500 and an installation kit with a monitor costing $750. That being said, many drivers will find it worth the price, especially if their car doesn’t already have a camera system or they do a great deal of driving at night in rural areas where the camera can help you detect pedestrians, animals, and livestock.
The official recommendation for installing the PathFindIR system is to do so behind your grille where it is around 2 feet above the ground. It is easier to install this in larger vehicles such as a truck or SUV. Keep in mind that the camera lens can’t turn by itself, so you need to mount the entire piece, so the cable port goes downward. Because of this, it is a good idea to opt for the installation kit for its convenient mounting arm. You will want to put the CPU in the cabin of your car, so it doesn’t get damaged. If your vehicle already has a head unit in your car with a video unit, you won’t need to install a separate monitor and can connect the feed to your existing screen. In this case, while you can do this yourself it is a better idea to have someone familiar with your car’s computer conduct the installation.
Those who have used the PathFindIR unit agree that it is very easy to see pedestrians, traffic, and buildings. Because of the camera’s design, you just have a 24-degree angle of view, but this should be enough to provide extra visibility on dark country roads directly in front of your vehicle. When driving in well-lit areas, like cities, you should already have pretty good visibility, but the night vision camera will still provide increased detection.
Perhaps the best feature of the PathFindIR II is its pedestrian recognition. Instead of just displaying the image of pedestrians on the screen, the system illuminates them in yellow boxes in a way that ensures you will be able to spot them. Although the framing isn’t precise, it gives you enough information to let you know there are pedestrians in the immediate vicinity, giving you time to maneuver or stop. Those who drive in rural areas will also appreciate the system’s ability to detect larger animals like cows or deer. Although the imagery isn’t as sophisticated as we would like, the system gets the job done. Putting the “cool factor” aside, the PathFindIR is best for vehicles that travel in rural areas or work at night on a consistent basis.