HELIAUS stands for tHErmaL vIsion Augmented awarenesS, and it’s directly related to infrared technologies and their applications to smart automotive.

The new ways of driving and use a vehicle as expected in the scope of Smart Mobility asks for reliable and affordable versatile perception systems. It is now clear that the interaction between the vehicles and its environment (in and out of cabin) has to be improved. As the automotive market has a strong strategy towards the development of autonomous vehicles, this need even more important in the case of autonomous driving for which the four mandatory steps (starting with “hands on” and ending with “hands off”, “eyes off” and “minds off”) are full of technical hurdles, barriers, obstacles.

Perception systems need to be accurate and reliable both for what happen in the cabin and out of the cabin. The driver and passenger monitoring needs to be improved as well as the environment surrounding monitoring, in all light and weather conditions. For both of these topics, the extension of current perception systems (mainly based on visible imaging, LIDAR and RADAR detection) to the thermal sensing is a must. Thermal sensing, especially in the Long Wavelength Infrared or LWIR (= 6 to 14 μm) bandwidth, provides valuable additional information and has to be considered as a must for the next generation of L4 (‘’Eyes off’’) and L5 (‘’Mind off’’) autonomous driving.


In this context, the HELIAUS project aims to deliver breakthrough perception systems for in-cabin passengers monitoring, as well as for the car surrounding by developing smart thermal perception systems that extend the current systems to the LWIR bandwidth.


The HELIAUS project focuses on the Sense and Think part of the perception process for both in and out-of-cabin applications.

The HELIAUS project integrates high performance and low cost LWIR thermal systems, images / data processing units and software (SW) applications into smart thermal perception systems compatible to such applications. The thermal perception systems will then be used solely or in combination with others sensors commonly used for the applications, as vision sensors for in-cabin monitoring or LIDAR for out-of cabin application, leading to an augmented awareness and reliability.

From general point of view, the main objectives of the HELIAUS project and work to be carried out are as follows:

  1. to develop cutting-edge and cost effective technologies leading to low cost, high performance LWIR module,
  2. to specify, develop, test and validate the thermal perception systems first prototypes for in-cabin and out-of cabin application,
  3. to quantify the valuable addition of the thermal sensing into the current systems and future systems,
  4. to promote the benefit of such systems in the future autonomous vehicles, in particular, and for smart mobility in general.

The HELIAUS project consists of 8 work packages (WP) that are categorized as follows:

  • Three work packages (WP3, WP4 and WP5) are dedicated to the development of the main technologies. They will provide the technology components of the project.
    The activities in these WPs involve research, technology and developments activities,
  • One work package (WP6) is concerned to the integration of technology components from WP3, WP4 and WP5, including the demonstration and validation,
  • Two work packages (WP7 and WP8) are dedicated to the targeted applications with use-cases specifications and evaluation.
  • One work package (WP2) will focus on the dissemination, communication and exploitation of the project’s results,
  • One work package (WP1) is dedicated to Project Management addressing the alignment of work packages, managing the overall project and the interaction between the public authorities and the ECSEL JU,

The HELIAUS partners cover the full competences chain, from technology development, over manufacturing and assembly, to use-case evaluation. The proposed innovations improve the competitiveness of each of the partner in their domain.

The HELIAUS project is a first and essential step to the creation of a future industrialized affordable thermal perception systems offer. Being a part of the IPCEI Microelectronics, in which ULIS leads a project in the framework of the ‘’Smart Sensors’’, the HELIAUS project will positively contribute to the global competitiveness of the European industry in the transport and smart mobility domain.

ECS Strategic Research Agenda focus areas:

ECSEL Call 2018

Start date: 03/2019

Duration: 36 months

Project coordinator:

Sophie Bethoux



Number of partners: 11

Number of countries: 4

Total investment: M€ 8

More on: