Mitsubishi Electric has developed the first in-vehicle monitoring system comprising a single wide-angle camera to simultaneously monitor both the motorist and the front seat passenger. Generally, the monitoring systems in cars uses just a single camera that will follow the driver’s face closely for any symptoms of distraction or drowsiness. Other vehicles have modern systems that follow both the driver and the front seat passengers but these require the use of several cameras.
Mitsubishi Electric’s new technology comprises just one wide-angle camera that keeps close tabs on the face and hand gestures of both the driver and the front seat passenger. OEMS will be able to use this technology to offer a wider range of safety and personalization features at a lower cost.
Commenting on the new technology, Mark Vogel, senior product development manager at Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America said that monitoring both front-seat occupants will not only be about a higher level of safety for the driver but will also facilitate additional gesture inputs for other in-cab systems like the audio or climate control or audio. Thus, the same monitoring system can be used to provide a mix of safety and convenience features.
This system has the potential to soon help identify medical emergencies like a stroke or heart attack as features are in development to monitor upper body position and detect slumping or collapsing. In such a scenario, the vehicle might be able to take emergency action like dialing emergency services or even rerouting to the nearest hospital. With the advent of self-driving cars, active safety monitoring systems will assume greater importance.
Mitsubishi Electric is planning to launch this technology commercially in 2018.
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