2021-06-14 Electric Vehicles Are In Stealth Mode

I have a PIR (passive infrared) motion sensing light on my porch for more than a year, and I’ve noticed that it can sense some of the cars that go by. If the car has been running, like coming home it will usually trigger the light. But when a neighbor starts the cold car and leaves, there is no PIR, and the light does not sense it leaving.

One neighbor has an Electric Vehicle, and EVs don’t generate a lot of heat like a gasoline powered vehicle. So the PIR sensor does not sense any motion. The EV is in stealth mode!

In order to sense these EVs the light would need a microwave doppler motion sensor. Or else a video camera that can sense motion. One drawback of these is that windblown leaves can trigger the motion sensing. Microwave sensors are very simple pieces of hardware and it would be more of a challenge to differentiate between windy leaves. In contrast, a video camera uses software on a computer to detect motion. It may be possible to develop software that can tell the difference between blowing leaves and a car or person.

When I was in the Army, before digital computers, the Radars had motion detecting hardware that was classified confidential information. The signal pulses were delayed and compared to the next signal pulses. If no changes then the signal was probably ground clutter close by. So software would have to know what is the difference between a single person and lots of ‘noise’ from windblown leaves.

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