Vehicle Occupancy Detection using Thermal Sensors



To develop a method for detecting the occupancy of vehicles (number of passengers) using a thermal camera.


A complete system capable of high accuracy vehicle occupancy detection using thermal images.


  • Run in real-time
  • Low space and computation requirements to be able be ported to a dedicated image processing chip
  • Perform reliably to be released as a consumer product

Core Model Architecture

Core model architecture highlighting the feature extraction. The last feature map is processed in two lanes. One for classification, and another performs deconvolution for blob detection.

The system captures raw thermal data from a thermal sensor, and evaluates captured thermal data to detect the number of passengers in the vehicle depending on the human body temperature.


HOV Lane. Image credit: Tom Smart, Desert News

This technology can be used in monitoring and enforcement of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes

Sample detections




Industry Partners