Biometrics and the Car of the Future

Toyota is present at the Aspen Ideas Festival – an annual international gathering of thought leaders that runs from June 27 to July 3 –  and its vision of a safer automotive future includes biometrics, wearable technology and automated vehicle technologies.

The auto manufacturer is hosting the “Experience the Future of Mobility” exhibit where it is showcasing both it’s newly unveiled zero-emission hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle and emerging automobile technologies that feature identity management.

Toyota’s exhibit includes a preview of the company’s Driver Awareness Vehicle (DARV 1.5). The research car uses biometric software and algorithms from Infosys, as well as Microsoft Surface and Kinect technologies, to better connect to the driver. Additionally, the DARV 1.5 explores new ways to leverage wearable technology to create a safer driver experience.

The Microsoft Kinect is best known as the full-body motion control for the Xbox One videogame console. In terms of identity management, the technology can be used to track user profiles while playing videogames and making digital purchases. It also features speech recognition controls.

In terms of merging the Kinect with the next generation driving experience, the DARV 1.5 has a “driver lock-in” function that limits access to the car’s features based on the body frame of the driver. Essentially, it’s full body biometrics for vehicular access control.

Osamu Nagata, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, discussed the company’s vision of the future of mobility with New York Times financial columnist and Editor-at-Large, Andrew Ross Sorkin.

“Our society is on the cusp of a revolution in personal mobility,” said Nagata, in advance of the presentation. Slowly but surely, new technologies are changing how we think about automobiles and transportation — from intelligent, automated systems that team up with drivers to improve safety, to zero-emission vehicles that emit nothing but water vapor. These technologies will help save lives, improve the environment, create jobs and help the U.S. maintain technical leadership in a field that is an important contributor to economic growth.”