​Why You Need to Have a Thermal Night Vision Dashcam in Your Car

Posted by Speedir Thermal Vision on 6th May 2020

Updated March 2023

Written by Michaela Jackson

A thermal car camera is one of the most useful modern tools for enhancing your safety while driving, especially at night. While having all the perks of a normal dash cam, a smart thermal dash cam can drastically change your perspective on driving safely. Once you get one, you will never go back again.

What is a Thermal Imaging Camera and How Does it Work?

Thermal night vision driving camera

A thermal camera, or thermographic camera, is an advanced camera equipped with high-tech thermal sensors that detect heat signatures of objects in its range and translate those images onto a screen in noticeable colors. These sensors are specialized in far-range detection of anything that has a temperature – this can include pedestrians, wildlife, motorcyclists, bikers, and other cars.

Thermal imaging technology has been used often in the military and in law enforcement for several purposes, such as detection of suspects who are in cover, and even detection of concealed weapons. These officers and soldiers trust thermal cameras because of their reliability and their invaluable assistance in the dark. Luckily, the thermal camera is no longer exclusive to law enforcement and military personnel and is available and affordable for the general public to use in their cars as a safe driving aid.

But why is a thermal camera so important to have in your car? Here are 5 reasons why you need to have a thermal camera in your car:

Unfortunately, most of us will have to drive in the dark frequently throughout our lives for many different reasons. This puts us at increased risk for car accidents, be it solo or with others. In fact, traffic death rates are three-times greater while driving at night versus driving during the day. This is because low-light conditions paired with the short range of a car’s headlights (only roughly 250 feet in front of the car) makes it difficult to see properly and detect hazards in the road in time to take evasive action.

With the assistance of thermal sensors, some of which can reach up to 3,000 feet beyond the range of normal headlights, objects that are potential road hazards can be easily detected and the driver will be made aware of them well before they become a problem.

night time driving safety

Oftentimes wildlife accidents, especially with deer, happen during the dark of night, when the driver cannot see far past their headlights. Although it is advised to use high-beams when possible to help prevent these collisions, it can be risky to do so because not only could you temporarily blind an on-coming driver but also even high-beams do not have nearly the range of a thermal sensor. High-beams can reach up to roughly 500 feet in front of your car, and their effectiveness drastically decreases as you look farther away. This does not leave you much time to take evasive action when happening upon wildlife in the road and you are not always in a situation where you can utilize high-beams but are still at risk of collisions with wildlife.

The actions of wild animals are not something you can have control over. However, you can take control of your own actions in the face of potential collisions with thermal image sensors and a thermal car camera. With the benefit of long-range detection, you will be able to see the image of a deer or other animal even when they are still behind trees and shrubbery thousands of feet away. Not only will this provide an increase in reaction time for you as the driver, but it will also provide you a level of peace of mind while driving at night, knowing that you will be able to not only save yourself property damage and injuries but also you can save the life of an animal.

  • 3.Darkness is not the only low-visibility condition you are likely to experience while driving. There are many other conditions you may experience, such as fog, snow, rain, sleet, hail, or smoke. These conditions can put you in a dangerous situation if you do not have the help of a thermal camera.

One of the most impressive things about thermographic cameras is the fact that they still work despite extreme low visibility conditions like fog and rain. Where normal dash cams, and even night vision dash cams, would be majorly handicapped, advanced thermal car cameras will still detect heat signatures at long range very clearly.

In these kinds of conditions headlights, although they are important, can make it harder to see in front of you. Glare is the main problem with depending solely on headlights. The headlights can produce bad glare when reflecting off fog, wet surfaces from rain, and snow. That is why using a thermal camera will provide you a greater chance of driving safely in these conditions because they do not affect its ability to detect heat signatures.

Reaction time refers to the time it takes for a driver to recognize a potential obstacle or threat, decide on a course of action to avoid it and execute that action. With reaction time being so short at night because of visibility issues, it can be extremely difficult to make a decision that most effectively avoids the road hazard and keeps the driver safe.

The thermal camera’s best use is as a safe driving aid. Because of its ability to detect even the most minute heat signatures at extremely long distances, your reaction time could be dramatically extended. With this extended reaction time, you will have more opportunity to avoid obstacles and stay aware of your surroundings while driving, even in very low visibility.

  • 5.Many people, perhaps yourself included, experience anxiety about driving at night. This anxiety, often referred to as vehophobia, can make driving at night stressful and painful. 40% of people over 40 feel uncomfortable driving at night due to the risks involved. With the help of a thermal camera’s highly sensitive thermal sensors, this anxiety can be alleviated.

Because of how risky nighttime driving can be, it is understandable that many people have fears about it. However, sometimes, nighttime driving cannot be avoided. If an emergency occurs at night, you may have to drive somewhere in the dark. Driving at night is not easy, but thermal cameras can help.

An advanced thermal car camera’s abilities can offer a peace of mind that a driver cannot get elsewhere when driving at night. The thermal dash cam will detect obstacles at great length, extending a driver’s vision and reaction time, providing a level of safety for the driver that is unprecedented in the world of nighttime driving.

In conclusion, having a thermographic camera at your disposal will make your night driving experience safer and less stressful. However, it is important to know who one of the best thermal imaging camera brand is and why they are the best.

Speedir’s Revolutionary Thermal Car Cameras

thermal driving cameraSpeedir is a thermal technology company with over 18 years of research and work backing their products, including using real-time thermal camera simulations to test the accuracy and speed of their products. Their mission is to create thermal vehicle cameras that are optimized for use on the roads to keep drivers of all kinds safe at night and in strenuous road conditions. These state-of-the-art, customizable thermal cameras are affordable, use modern thermal dataset programs, and are the best the thermographic market has to offer.

The Night Owl thermal camera by Speedir is an HD camera with an output resolution of 720x480p, equipped with a 384x288 thermal sensor that detects heat signatures up to 3000 feet beyond the headlights of a car. This camera connects to any screen for customizable options for video output. Because it uses thermal sensors, it requires no visible light to work effectively, and serves as an essential safe driving aid for anyone who frequently drives at night.

Speedir also makes another thermal camera, the Night Owl Plus, which is outfitted with an Artificial Intelligence System to alert the driver of obstacles in the road up to 400 feet away. This camera is the epitome of smart thermal dash cams. The advanced thermal car camera paired with Speedir’s advanced driver assistance system combines the best of thermal imaging and modern technology to bring drivers the optimal solution to safer driving.

For fleets like semi-truck transportation or police vehicle fleets, Speedir offers thermal camera production deals to supply your fleet with smart thermal dash cams at the right price.

To learn more about Speedir’s thermal cameras, visit their about us page, or contact them at