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Ford Motor patent filing for facial recognition vehicle entry system published

Ford Motor patent filing for facial recognition vehicle entry system published

A patent filing from the Ford Motor Company for a facial recognition vehicle entry system has been published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization. This technology utilizes both biometric and a non-biometric fallback authentication method to allow access to a vehicle.

The system described in the patent application is designed to integrate dual authentication modes, ensuring that only authorized individuals can gain access to the vehicle. The system includes various components, including image sensors, lockout devices, and a controller for the authentication process.

During primary authentication based on face biometrics, the system captures a real-time image of the person attempting to access the vehicle. The captured image is then analyzed to determine if it matches any stored facial patterns associated with authorized users. If a match is found, the controller grants access to the vehicle by commanding the lockout device to unlock.

If the primary biometric authentication fails and the captured image doesn’t match any stored facial patterns, the system prompts for secondary authentication. It then captures a second image and analyzes it for a non-biometric code. The system offers adjustable security levels based on the complexity of the secondary code. For instance, the code can be alphanumeric, gestures, or graphical depictions. The document depicts the use of gesture recognition to recognize a sequence of hand movements as an authentication method.

For activity logging, whenever a secondary user gains access using a secondary code, the system captures and stores an image of this event. This stored image enables the primary user to review and verify the activities and identities of those who accessed the vehicle.

“The invention may be practiced in any vehicle with exterior cameras that are tied to a vehicle controller with image processing capability. Facial recognition may be retained as the primary device-free authentication modality, while a secondary authentication option can reinstate some benefits associated with the use of keypad code entry,” the patent application explains.

Ford Global Technologies was awarded a patent for a facial recognition system to identify drivers and unlock car doors in 2022. The system could start the vehicle, monitor the health conditions of occupants, and even identify and assess the threat level of animals outside the vehicle.  

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