Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) is a feature that has been slowly creeping into the car market. They are reserved for the highest end luxury models, but as with most technology, it will eventually trickle down to many other models as well. However, if you want FLIR without the wait, a new aftermarket system is now available.
The system is called PathFindIR and is very similar to the systems you would find on the aforementioned luxury models. FLIR works by detecting heat given off by a given source and processing the data to give the user a picture like display of what's in front of them. This particular system is capable of detecting objects up to 1000ft away and covers 36 degrees in front of the vehicle.
The most obvious benefit of FLIR in a vehicle application is basically night vision. More animals are on the road during the night and while headlights offer some help, sometimes they aren't enough. Infrared lets you see past the field of light and can provide more time to stop if something is in your path.
The system has not yet been priced, but there are several retail companies offering the PathFindIR system for around $4,000, without a display. More details should be available within a few weeks.