Veoneer wins thermal camera production deal for self-driving car

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish auto technology group Veoneer VNE.NVNEsdb.ST said on Tuesday it had won a production contract with an unidentified "world-leading" carmaker to manufacture a thermal camera for an autonomous vehicle.

Veoneer’s products include radars, vision systems, and advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving software that are widely expected to play an integral part in the next generations of cars over the coming decades.

“This award is an industry breakthrough for Veoneer,” Veoneer CEO Jan Carlson said in a statement.

“Thermal cameras are critical for enhancing the safety of autonomous vehicles because of their unique sensing capabilities.”

Veoneer has seen its shares plunge over the past year due to weak auto markets and car makers’ plans for self-driving cars being pushed further into the future due to regulatory and technological challenges as well as mounting costs.

Veoneer said the production start was planned for 2021, and a company spokesman Thomas Jonsson told Reuters that while the production volumes were expected to be low, the contract was of high technical significance.

“It’s the first time, as far as we know, that a carmaker has made the decision to include thermal cameras as a sensor on self-driving cars”.

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard