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Tesla turns on facial recognition, Kia adds in-car fingerprint biometrics

More automotive biometrics in development

automotive biometrics

Tesla is using facial recognition in the advanced driver assistance systems of its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles to ensure the driver is seated and paying attention, Fox News reports.

The company’s CEO Elon Musk said initially they would be used to monitor people using the vehicles when they are being used for autonomous ride-hailing in case of vandalism.

The camera data is stored and processed locally within the vehicle.

A patent filing by Tesla for an AI automotive system suggests the company is working on using face biometrics to track passenger location within the vehicle or personalize settings.

The application for a ‘Context sensitive user interface for enhanced vehicle operation’ invention describes the use of an opt-in facial recognition system with local data storage, possibly sensing light from infrared emitters or projectors. It also describes the use of face detection without biometric recognition of who the individual is.

The patent application includes digital user interface features like shifting button location, and also describes the use of cameras to sense terrain.

Kia K9 features fingerprint authentication

The 2022 Kia K9 will include a fingerprint biometric authentication system to select between multiple personalized profiles, motor1.com writes.

Once the driver’s fingerprint is recognized, the vehicle can alter the seat position, climate control settings, and side mirror position. The digital instrument layout can also change.

Beyond personalization, fingerprint biometrics will also be used to authenticate payment in the Kia K9, according to the report, without scanning a payment card.

The car will be launched soon to the South Korean market.

Chinese automakers add biometric capabilities

Chinese automaker Changan is testing the self-driving capabilities of its Uni-T SUV, which is intended to offer Level-3 autonomous driving, according to Pakistani outlet Samaa.

The vehicle includes facial recognition, intelligent voice interaction, and a dual screen touch interface.

Foxconn has partnered with automaker Stellantis on vehicle cockpit systems featuring biometric authentication, remote commands and augmented reality, CBS Milwaukee affiliate WDJT 58 reports.

Foxconn plans to develop the cockpit technology system first for Stellantis, before offering it to other manufacturers.

The report notes Foxconn is also in negotiation with U.S. electric car company Fisker, and signed a deal with Volvo and Lotus parent Geely in January.

Numerous automakers and AI companies are exploring the potential of biometrics in vehicles.

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