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Automotive biometrics developers show work with many modalities

SiLC and Fingerprint Cards announce deals
Automotive biometrics developers show work with many modalities

A new technology partnership brings together SiLC’s Eyeonic computer vision sensor and the Surya system-on-chip (SoC) from automotive tech developed indie Semiconductor.

The integration will deliver high performance computer vision in a compact form factor, the partners say. Performance is ten times higher, while the integration also reduces power usage and cost over existing implementations, according to the announcement.

SiLC’s sensor uses frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) detection and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to perform time-of-flight image processing functions, like face biometrics. Other possible markets include industrial automation, mobile robotics and automotive applications such as driver monitoring and self-driving.

“By combining the software-defined high-performance — but low power — analog and digital processing and system control capabilities of Surya, coupled with SiLC’s Eyeonic vision solution, system integrators and OEMs are enabled with 4D FMCW imaging for mass market deployment into multiple applications,” says Chet Babla, senior vice president, strategic marketing at indie Semiconductor.

“We are excited to partner with indie to bring industry-leading FMCW-based LiDAR platforms to market,” says Ralf Muenster, vice president, business development and marketing at SiLC. “Our state-of-the-art FMCW LiDAR sensor features the highest integration, resolution, precision, and longest range of any other competing approach, while remaining the only commercially available solution to offer polarization information.”

The Eyeonic sensor was unveiled late last year.

FPC supplies iris recognition software for driver monitoring systems

Fingerprint Cards has signed up a customer it calls a “tier 1 automotive supplier” to integrate its iris biometrics into driver monitoring systems (DMS).

Under the agreement, iris recognition software from Fingerprint Cards will be built into an existing DMS, according to a company announcement, and marketed to automotive OEMs. The unnamed partner will carry the non-recurring engineering fee for the project’s development.

Vehicles will be required to include driver monitoring systems by forthcoming regulations, according to Fingerprint Cards, and iris biometrics are appropriate for them as the infrared cameras used to check the driver’s status can also be used to illuminate the iris. Automotive companies are becoming more interested in the possibility of implementing biometrics for in-car payments and personalization, the company says.

“Over the past year, our technical team has managed to implement significant improvements to our iris authentication asset, both in terms of performance and convenience. This means that our system now performs well even with low-resolution infrared cameras in noisy environments, and with a significantly larger field of view than before. I am thrilled about the opportunities in the automotive space, as we anticipate a significant deployment of affordable infrared cameras in cars, driven by legal requirements,” comments Thomas Rex, executive vice president of new business at Fingerprint Cards.

Reviewer finds biometric unlocking too slow

Biometric access control for automobiles gets low marks in a review of the Genesis GV60 by Business Insider.

The GV60 locks and unlocks with face and fingerprint biometrics, and while reviewer Tim Levin found the feature worked well overall and was sometimes useful, it “wasn’t seamless enough” to convince him that other carmakers will follow Genesis’ lead. He describes fast and easy biometrics enrollment, particularly for face, but each authentication added a few seconds to the process of starting the car.

More data, for better or worse

Toyota has had a patent for using vital sign biometrics to unlock a vehicle published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization.

The patent filing for “systems and methods for activating a digital key based on vital signs,” spotted by autoevolution, describes existing digital keys as vulnerable to biometric data theft or accidental unlocking, as digital keys on smartphones can be activated while the phone is locked. The car-maker proposes the use of vital signs like pulse rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, possibly read by a health wearable, as biometrics.

As with any patent filing, there is no guarantee the concept ever makes it to the market.

If it does, the sensitive health biometrics will have to be stored and transmitted with strong enough encryption to ensure both security and regulatory compliance.

The California Privacy Protection Agency is planning to review how automobile manufacturers handle the already-vast quantities of data hoovered up by vehicles as its first regulatory review, The Washington Post report.

Location and data, images from cameras, and information stored on or passing through mobile phones connected to cars could all represent privacy risks, if improperly handled, so the CPPA “is making enquiries” to make sure manufacturers comply with state law.

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