Knights Conquest XV Armored Car Uses FLIR PathFindIR Nightvision and Costs $600,000
The Knights Conquest XV is the strongest and safest thing you can put on the roads short of a tank; and it wouldn’t be complete without a full array of thermal cameras. There are two PathFindIR Cameras mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle, with separate displays in the front console.
The comparison image beside the Dassault Falcon sums it up best: This car is big.
This Canadian-made armoured vehicle might look like a machine born out of the war in Iraq, but it’s proven to be a flashy choice for celebrities too. Any luxury vehicle aficionados out there are probably aware of this particular beast, as its been out for a few years, but the Knights Conquest XV has changed for 2012.
Thermal imaging on a vehicle might have its origins in the military, but PathFindIRs have proven themselves indispensable for all kinds of citizens looking to increase their road safety. The FLIR technology works as an enhanced night vision, reaching out well past your headlights to give you an image of the road ahead. Stopped vehicles, animals, or other hazards will come up hot on the display, effectively highlighting them. You can run the output from the PathFindIR into any onboard display, and it becomes a natural checkpoint like your mirrors.
Because it operates off of heat rather than visible light, FLIR cameras are largely unaffected by smoke or dust that might obscure the road, and display the same in darkness as they do in daylight. The internal heat of an object is also what allows them to highlight potential obstacles.
In cold weather conditions when it is below 4 degrees Celsius the camera will automatically activate an internal heating element in order to prevent ice building up over the lens, which is largely rock and chip proof. That is crucial if its mounted on an heavy duty vehicle that could see rigorous outdoor usage.
The Knight XV comes in two different flavors: The ultra-wealthy celebrity focused model has a luxury leather interior and feels like a limo inside with a cigar humidor and hookups for videogame systems. The other is the security model, with a command center vibe that is more focused to private contractors and extremely well equipped police departments. The outer shells of both vehicles are identical, and every Knight XV has bulletproofing armour installed in the body and windows. But you see a definite shift in the interior functionality and appearance.
The price associated with the Knights Conquest bumps it up into that astronomically expensive luxury-vehicle category that most of us only dream about. The MSRP starts at $629,000 and there have been substantial upgrades to this year’s model. We haven’t seen pictures of the new version yet, but Autoguide had an update: “For 2012, Conquest Vehicles revamped their Knight XV by redesigning the interior and cockpit, and now includes front and rear commercial-grade air ride suspension, front power windows, and 360-degree, roof mounted, joystick controlled searchlights.” Plus the security model can now be sealed to resist gas and chemical attacks, and has a magnetic detection system in case someone tries to plant an unwanted package on the undercarriage of the mammoth vehicle. With all that gear, FLIR systems in the front and rear come with the territory.
The PathFindIR appears in a wide variety of other armoured cars too. FLIR interviewed Mr. H. Klostermann from Stoof, a company that modifies existing luxury vehicles to meet armored requirements. When discussing the PathFindIR he said “Compared to the total investment needed for an armoured car, the installation of a thermal imaging camera is a very small cost. A cost that can however help to save lives. Not only in emergency situations but also in every day driving conditions. I am sure that more and more of our customers will decide to install this excellent tool in their vehicle.”
He’s right of course. For the distance and sensor size of the PathFindIR, it’s one of the most affordable thermal cameras anywhere. The unit itself is just under $2500, and a full kit with cables, mounting bracket and dashboard display is only $3200.
If you’re interested in the PathfindIR for your own car or truck, they’re available on optimumstores.com right now!