From targeting to scoring

Developing a combat aircraft such as Gripen, with its associated weapons systems, means that we are always at the leading edge of technology. Our work has resulted in numerous innovations and many of these innovative ideas have found entirely new applications.

By combining missile targeting and image processing technology with stereo cameras and microwave transponders, we have transformed a military targeting system into a civil solution that automatically reads licence plates in a modern highway toll system. This sort of innovation paved the way for the company Saab Traffic System, which was later sold to the Austrian company Kapsch.

Saab's targeting and imaging expertise has also helped transform TV entertainment. This is also a result of combining missile technology with stereo cameras.

But here, the aim is to automatically track individual players on a football pitch and provide tools for commentators and experts to make more informed and interesting sports broadcasts. The technology has been created by Saab and this unique application has been developed for use at club and championship level football. In the future, this may also be used for automatic surveillance of suspicious behaviour, at airports or in the industrial sector for example.

Another example of advanced military technology that is proving to be of use in a completely different application is the helmet-mounted display system developed by Saab for Gripen. In the same way that it can display important information and data directly on the pilot's visor, it can also improve the capabilities of fire-fighters and smoke divers and help them to save lives and property when it really matters.

Saab is one of Sweden's biggest investors in research. This means that the flow of technology and innovation is continuing. This is benefiting Saab as well as Sweden.