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Automakers preview biometric integration; study sees growth in that market

Automakers preview biometric integration; study sees growth in that market

Car makers are showing off innovations in biometric integration for drivers, ranging from facial recognition that spots distracted or drowsy drivers, enhanced voice recognition and Lidar capabilities.

That action is reflected in a market study from Polaris Market Research suggesting the automotive biometrics market will continue to grow rapidly.

Magna sneaks in biometric camera behind rear-view mirror

Magna, a Canadian auto parts company, says its facial recognition camera behind the mirror can detect signs of tiredness, inebriation, distraction and even unregistered drivers.

At the company’s Tech Day in Pontiac, Michigan, Newsweek was shown how the ClearView (not to be confused with Clearview AI) face biometrics works. The camera is integrated behind the rear-view mirror glass, invisible to occupants.

According to Newsweek, the ClearView detects the outline of the driver’s eyes and mouth. It also puts a reference line only it can view over the driver’s face to measure how much attention is being paid to the road ahead.

Ed Frank, vehicle integrator at Magna, reportedly told the magazine that the mouth is important to monitor. Yawns, talking, laughing and the like indicate a lack of focus.

The ClearView starts a timer every time a driver does anything but watch the road. Past a pre-set threshold, a driver is warned.

The device also can be set to only recognize certain drivers, refusing to operate for strangers – even if those unauthorized people in any other seat of the vehicle.

Magna reportedly is working on software that see signs of inebriation by analyzing a driver’s pupil dilation.

Newsweek reports that the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in November 2021 requires that all cars have the technology to detect and prevent drunk driving, and similar laws are expected to pass in Europe.

Buick, Lynk & Co, Faraday show EVs with biometrics

American automaker Buick, Chinese-Swedish auto newcomer Lynk & Co, and startup Faraday Future are each previewing their latest electric vehicles with biometrics.

Buick showed its Wildcat EV concept, which a press release states combines biometrics and aromatherapy to detect dangerous emotions and try to calm the driver. It dims cabin lights, releases calming scents, and massage drivers through the seats, for example.

Lynk & Co’s Next Day EV concept suggests a facial recognition system in a promotional video, according to Carscoops. The video is short on details, but the Next Day has a windshield heads-up display and can recognize its driver as they approach its front. It is unknown how deep biometrics integration would be in a production model.

Faraday Future, meanwhile, says it selected Cerence to provide text-to-speech technology for its luxury EV FF 91 model in order to facilitate communication with its in-car assistant. Faraday says in a press release the translation will allow human-like conversations. The assistant will respond to prompts for the news, weather, navigation and locations to refuel.

Faraday will also integrate Cerence’s speech signal enhancement with its own voice recognition software and natural language understanding engines to enhance vocal input from drivers and passengers. The enhancement is sound processing software that removes noise, echo and interference drowning out a driver’s speech when using the in-car assistant.

SiLC forms manufacturing partnership for Lidar

SiLC Technologies, a machine vision and Lidar (light detection and ranging) company, says it has created a manufacturing partnership with Hong Kong’s Cloud Light Technology to build a single-chip system.

Cloud Light will make SiLC’s Eyeonic Vision Sensors, a vision sensor that puts Lidar capabilities on a single chip. SiLC says it has the potential to popularize 3D photonics for accurate face detection and measurement due to its low cost. This would in turn boost face biometric markers for identification in autonomous vehicles.

SiLC says it chose Cloud Light because of its proven capabilities in optical module design, high volume precision assembly, testing and reliability. It expects early sample shipments and to transition to volume production later this year.

Automotive biometrics market to reach almost $700M by 2028

A study from Polaris Market Research suggests that the automotive biometrics market will grow at a healthy pace and become an almost US$700 million industry by 2028 due to high demand and investment.

The report analyzes trends in the car biometrics industry and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Polaris anticipates the global automotive biometrics market to reach $695.43 million by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 19.2 percent from 2022 to 2030.

Polaris expects growth to be driven by rising demand, increasing awareness of automobile biometrics, and investment to improve efficiency and close the demand-supply gap in the market.

Some major companies in the automotive biometrics market profiled in the report include Assa Abloy, BioEnable Technology, Fingerprint Cards, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Nuance, SecuGen, Synaptics, ZKTeco. 

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