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Biometric connected car security and driver monitoring prominent at CES

Biometric connected car security and driver monitoring prominent at CES

One of the prominent groups of technology products on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is connected cars. Biometrics are enabling many features in vehicles beyond securing door access and vehicle operation. Personalization and cloud services are major themes in next-generation vehicles and concept cars, and a range of biometric modalities are being explored to secure those features.


Electric vehicle startup Byton showed a production-ready M-Byte concept SUV at the trade show that features a display screen extending the full length of the dash, and a 7-inch multitouch display in the middle of the steering wheel, CNET reports. A third “Byton Touchpad” display sits in the dash.

The vehicle features facial recognition to allow different passengers to issue commands, and drivers and passengers can also interact with the vehicle through voice commands and hand gestures sensed a small infrared camera on the dashboard. Biometrics are used in part for personalization with Amazon Alexa, which is integrated with the “Byton Life” service suite. Sales of the vehicle are expected to launch in China in late 2019.


Among a range of optical and connected car technologies Gentex demonstrated at CES, such as dimmable glass and car-to-home automation system HomeLink, is an iris authentication system for drivers to secure connected car features. The system includes a mirror-integrated display, near-infrared emitters, an iris-scanning camera, and system-level intelligence, according to the announcement.

The driver can authenticate her or his identity with a glance at the mirror to operate the vehicle, personalize the cabin controls, and enable secure access to cloud services for home automation and in-vehicle payments.


Samsung Electronics took over Harman International just over a year ago, and the company showed off connected car solutions at CES intended to deliver value to drivers measurable in “experience-per-mile,” just-auto reports.

Harman is offering a number of different technologies, each operated with a central control unit, allowing manufacturers to select among them. The company’s Premium Communications solutions include integrations with personal assistants, as well as a Personal Communication Zone for voice interactions without interference from other passengers. The new Harman driver monitoring system uses biometric sensors to track eye gaze, head position, and pupil diameter to support seamless hand-overs between the car and driver for L3 semi-autonomous driving, according to the report.


A concept car displayed at CES by Hyundai’s Mobis division is touted as the ‘car of tomorrow,’ with an estimated arrival date of 2025, The Daily Mail reports. Like Harman’s driver monitoring system, Hyundai’s futuristic vehicle uses facial recognition cameras to detect driver distraction. Hyundai also applies the AI system for an ‘Emoji mode,’ matching the car’s ambient lighting to the mood detected by the system.


Rather than a car, Kia brought devices that use facial recognition to analyze driver sentiment in order to personalize the cabin environment, according to Overdrive. The Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (READ) system uses past preferences and sentiment analysis to set air conditioning, seat preferences, lighting, music, and more.


U.S.-based cockpit electronics supplier Visteon Corporation is partnering with Tencent to develop autonomous driving and intelligent cockpit technology. The initial solutions will be developed for Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) R&D Center in China, according to the announcement.

Tencent Automotive Intelligence (TAI) solutions leverage the company’s facial expression, voice, and gesture recognition technologies for user interaction. The goal is to commercialize an integrated cockpit for an electric vehicle produced by GAC in 2020.


Cars were not the only connected vehicles at CES 2019. The Furrion Adonis is a luxury yacht equipped with an AI personalization system using facial recognition, voice control, and touch displays throughout for personalization, New Atlas reports.

The Adonis comes with AI personal assistant Angel, which operates like other voice-activated digital personal assistants, through smart mirrors which become interactive displays and smaller touchscreens. Furrion hopes to bring Angel to market by the end of the year.

Other announcements of biometric systems in vehicles this week include a new partnership between B-Secur and a pair of semiconductor companies to develop a biometric steering wheel, a Smart Rear View Mirror featuring iris authentication from EyeLock, and an in-vehicle payment solution secured with biometrics in development from Visa and SiriusXM Connected Vehicle Services.

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