1 July, 2024

Driving Innovation: Smart Eye’s Automotive Leadership in Interior Sensing Technology

Smart Eye’s market leadership in Automotive and Behavioral Research is the result of continuous investments and innovation. We remain committed to pushing the boundaries of technology. Smart Eye’s research department plays a pivotal role with several innovation-focused responsibilities:

– Develops new technologies for near and long-term product development 

– Acts as a reliable technology advisor to regulators and policymakers 

– Collaborates with partners on technology integration, particularly with optical sensors and SoCs (System on Chip) 

– Generates synthetic datasets and assists clients with their synthetic data requirements 

– Provides technical support to the business units 

Estimating 3D position using 2D sensors 

Using several neural networks and a standard 2D cabin camera, Smart Eye enables 3D estimation of passenger body pose in the vehicle. This approach offers a cost-effective way to detect passengers’ positions and support vehicle warning functions, while also improving the vehicle’s insight into passenger activities. The significance of this technology becomes especially evident in situations where the vehicle shifts from automated to manual drive, and the driver is required to regain control of the vehicle. 

Depth Sensing

The integration of depth sensing into driver monitoring systems is a milestone in automotive safety. When combined with Smart Eye’s driver monitoring software, image sensors based on technologies like iTOF (Indirect Time of Flight) or structured light can be used to create a detailed three-dimensional map of the cabin. Offering precise insight into occupant positioning and movements, this technology allows for real-time adaptation of active restraints, such as airbags. This ensures enhanced safety during collisions by adapting airbag activation in specific “out-of-position” scenarios, reducing risk for potential harm. 

Enhanced ADAS: Improving drivers’ experience, acceptance and trust in assistance systems 

To drive innovation, Smart Eye works with partners in multiple parallel research projects. One example is the Enhanced ADAS project from 2021–2023. Integrating environmental and user data, the project emphasized the role of Driver Monitoring Systems in developing more intuitive and responsive ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) solutions. Besides Smart Eye, the project included research partners RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and Aptiv, and was funded by Vinnova. 

Policy advisory 

A key contributor to three different industry groups, Smart Eye advises regulators and legislators to: 

– Ensure public policy objectives are set with a precise understanding of the technology.

– Draft and implement new regulations, legislation, and test protocols in a way that makes these policy objectives achievable.

This work solidifies Smart Eye’s role as a trusted expert within the industry, while providing the company with firsthand insight into regulatory developments. 

During 2023, Smart Eye has acted as an expert advisor on Euro NCAP’s upcoming new car assessment protocol. As Euro NCAP extends their rating scheme to include more cabin monitoring features, Smart Eye offers its deep expertise within both driver monitoring and automotive interior sensing systems. This work is expected to continue the rest of this year and beyond.

Want to learn more? Download our eBook, “Frontier in Improving Road Safety and the Mobility Experience” here, or contact us today!

Written by Ashley McManus
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