The future of smart mobility is emerging as a more effective, cleaner and safer solution for intelligent traffic management. However, it requires adaptable and reliable perceptual systems monitoring inside and outside the cabin. The improvement of perceptual systems in all weather conditions is instrumental for safety. Thermal sensing offers additional information vital for autonomous driving. The EU-funded HELIAUS project aims to develop smart thermal perceptual systems to effectively control the inside and outside of the cabin. It will create low-cost and innovative technology and will validate the prototypes in perceptual systems applications. It will measure the added value of thermal sensing and promote the advantages that such systems can offer for autonomous driving.