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Mitsubishi Electric introduces single-camera driver monitoring system covering driver and front passenger

Mitsubishi Electric has developed the first in-vehicle monitoring system with a single wide-angle camera to detect both the driver and front passenger simultaneously.

Conventional in-vehicle monitoring systems generally use a single camera to analyze the driver’s face for drowsiness or distraction. More recent imaging systems monitor the driver as well as the front passenger, but require several cameras. Mitsubishi Electric has refined this concept by developing a technology that uses just one wide-angle camera to identify both the face and hand gestures of driver and front passenger. This allows OEMs to offer a range of safety and personalization features at a lower cost.

Monitoring both front-seat occupants not only lets us check driver-centric safety behavior, but also allows us to support additional gesture inputs for in-cab systems such as climate control or audio. Providing a mix of safety and convenience features within the same monitoring system is critical as the line between those disciplines continue to blur.

—Mark Vogel, senior product development manager at Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America

With features in development to monitor upper body position and detect slumping or collapsing, this technology may soon be able to identify medical emergencies, such as a heart attack or stroke. In such circumstances, the vehicle could take immediate action by dialing emergency services or even rerouting to a nearby hospital. Active safety monitoring systems like this will become especially important as we evolve toward the self-driving car.

This technology is expected to launch commercially in 2018.

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