Known for tactical communications, electronic warfare systems, and space and intelligence technologies, Harris is more likely to be found at the Association for the United States Army’s or Space Symposium’s annual meetings than a consumer electronics show.  But this year, Harris will be there with Clarion USA at the world’s showcase for innovation and new consumer technologies, exposing auto manufacturers to an exciting product called Helios®.

Since debuting in 1967, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become the venue for launching innovations like the videocassette recorder, high-definition television, 3D printers, and—most recently—driverless cars. Often the behind-the-scenes technologies that make these innovations possible don’t share the spotlight with the products themselves.

For the 2017 CES, however, Harris has joined Clarion USA to show auto manufacturers across the globe a technology that can help them differentiate their cars with new safety capabilities. Harris has been working with the CES exhibitor and top-tier connected-car supplier to evaluate pairing Harris analytics with Clarion’s camera imagery to detect and notify drivers about road conditions. Clarion provided Helios® with imagery from its automotive Stereo/Surround camera solutions for testing Harris’ patented analytics from the Helios® digital platform.

Helios® pulls data from a nationwide network of 30,000 integrated traffic cameras that use algorithms to detect visibility, surface wetness, and snow and notify users of changing road conditions. The solution is used by several commercial weather companies to enhance and validate short-term forecasting. It is part of Harris’ broader portfolio of weather and environmental capabilities, which include weather and climate sensors and ground processing for space, air, and ground sensors.

“Instead of using traffic cameras, we’re using vehicle cameras and applying our analytics to the images to pull out information about road conditions,” says Eric Dixon, Helios® product manager for Harris. “It’s possible then to share information about road conditions with other vehicles, basically turning cars into mobile weather stations. We’re looking at weather in a whole new way for safety.”

 According to Dixon, there are opportunities for Harris to apply a history of image science used to support big government satellite programs like the recently launch GOES-R weather satellite for commercial applications. “Autonomous cars and connected vehicles all use cameras to function. We can make them safer with analytics,” he explains.

Visit Clarion at CES from January 5 to 8 in the Gold Lot North Plaza NP7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.