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Cipia wins biometric driver monitor design contracts, former VW execs claims China leads

Cipia wins biometric driver monitor design contracts, former VW execs claims China leads
 

There is more evidence that driver monitoring systems are on the cusp of a breakout moment.

Monitoring systems using biometrics are being included in more vehicle models and, in fact, explain why Chinese consumers favor domestic electric vehicles over imports, according to an auto industry insider.

Bolstering optimism in an incongruent way, the United States and China are joining the European Union in considering regulations for biometric monitors.

And the industry is spending money on new systems designs.

More design contracts awarded by vehicle maker

In-vehicle sensor maker Cipia says it has signed design contracts for three passenger vehicles being developed by Chinese state-owned manufacturer Chery International. Cipia had already been working on three other models.

All six models, due next year, will feature Cipia’s biometric Driver Sense monitoring system.

Israel-based Cipia’s machine vision reportedly can spot signs of drowsiness and distraction, ascertain if passengers and drivers are wearing seatbelts or holding a phone.

The company has also announced it secured more than $9 million in funding.

Former VW execs talk monitor success for China

According to Communist Party-owned publication China Daily, Herbert Diess, former chairman of Volkswagen, who was reportedly let go in July, is claiming that domestic electric vehicle marques are more popular than imports substantially due to biometrics monitoring systems.

Diess pointed to facial recognition capabilities in Guangzhou Automobile Motor Corp.’s Aion Y Plus. It reportedly gauges the mood of the driver and recommends music accordingly, as well as conventional biometric tasks.

He also noted that the vehicles use computer vision to automate parking.

Stephan Wöllenstein, ex-CEO of Volkswagen China, claimed that China is setting the standard for electric vehicles.

“China will lead the auto industry globally for the next 10 to 20 years. Volkswagen must be fully aware of this and deepen its localization efforts,” he reportedly told the China Daily.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen announced it was deploying Onfido’s identity verification and face biometric services.

Government boost for monitoring systems

Trade publication Embedded posted an analysis of legislative activity by a writer who also works for a sensor vendor.

At least in the United States, national legislation on biometrics and AI generally happens after enough consumers either buy products or are concerned about products get vocal. Marginal developments are ignored.

The proposed Stay Aware For Everyone (SAFE) Act in the United States would fund a study by the Department of Transportation looking at the effects of distracted driving on accident rates and determine if monitoring systems would reduce accidents.

In Europe, according to Embedded, the European Union has already started making monitoring mandatory in new vehicles through a 2019 general safety regulation that became law this year. All new cars sold in the EU must have biometric monitoring.

And in China, Jiangsu Province government made monitoring mandatory for long-haul trucking and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials and waste. Efforts to adopt the technology nationally reportedly have been hindered by the pandemic.

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