The sensor specialist ams has unveiled a new driver monitoring system for automotive manufacturers. The system uses eye tracking and 3D optical sensing technology to watch for signs of drowsiness and distracted driving, and can be integrated with other in-car systems to send an alert if it determines that the driver’s eyes are not on the road.
The eye tracking technology comes courtesy of Eyeware, while the 3D sensing tech was developed in-house at ams, which uses flood and dot pattern illuminators as part of an Active Stero Vision system. The 3D solution creates a detailed depth map of the driver’s head to assess its position relative to the road, and also enables driver identification through facial recognition.
The driver monitoring system is intended for use in proof of concept demos, and could support augmented reality applications in addition to sending alerts to distracted drivers. For example, a car with a smart windshield could follow the driver’s gaze to ensure that important dashboard information is always displayed in their line of sight.
“ams and Eyeware have shown the industry the way to integrate 3D sensing hardware and eye-tracking software and produce a reliable method for detecting drowsiness and distraction,” said ams In-Cabin Sensing Manager Firat Sarialtun.
“Driver monitoring has the potential to make a vital contribution to improving road safety, but the systems and components must be ultra-reliable,” added Eyeware Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer Bastjan Prenaj. “That is a key benefit of the Eyeware software: together with the ams 3D sensing technology, it performs in all lighting and usage conditions, and gives accurate data on which OEMs can build applications such as drowsiness alerts.”
ams and Eyeware are not the only companies working to improve driver safety with enhanced driver monitoring features. NXP is currently building a driver monitoring system with Momenta, while Mitsubishi introduced its own system in its EMIRAI S concept car in 2019. Subaru’s Eyesight Driver Assist Technology is also one of the key safety features in the 2019 Forester.