Driver and passenger monitoring brings zero cabin privacy
Driver monitoring is key to the growing requirements, globally, for improved road safety, with regulatory and safety bodies in Europe acknowledging its importance.
This trend extends globally as the USA becomes focused on a road safety agenda to address risks posed by emerging semi- and fully-automated vehicle technologies. Europe has taken the lead, Euro NCAP has announced that it requires driver monitoring systems for five-star safety ratings and European General Safety Regulation has mandated the technology for all new cars, vans, trucks and buses from 2024. Meanwhile the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the US has also recommended the use of DMS as an effective means of driver engagement in Level 2 vehicles.
“As vehicles become more automated and until they are capable of handling the driving task 100% of the time, there will always be a requirement for the vehicle to initiate handover back to the driver,” explained Seeing Machines CEO Paul McGlone. “In order for that handover to be conducted effectively, the vehicle must be able to register the attention state of the driver and react accordingly.”
For example, a semi-automated car may be able to drive itself on certain highways and in certain conditions. If, for example it comes to the end of the geofenced or designated area, and the driver is distracted or drowsy, the vehicle needs a mechanism with which to attract their attention (e.g. via haptic or audible alerts), so that it can conduct a safe handover. “Camera based DMS is the only in-cabin, high performance technology, focused directly on the driver, that can provide the vehicle with that critical information,” McGlone said, who noted more advanced sensing technology would likely be required in the future, including radar and LiDAR technologies.
He pointed to the use of radar where occlusion may occur, such as detection of a baby left in rear seat. “In fact, child presence detection will earn rating points from Euro NCAP starting in 2022, so there will be blending of technologies to achieve the required outcome. Therefore, when more technologies are required, it must be assumed that this will impact the cost to some degree.”
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