20 May, 2024

Driving Innovation: Smart Eye’s Pioneering Role in Advanced Driver Monitoring and Interior Sensing Solutions

As the market leader in driver monitoring systems, we collaborate closely with automotive OEMs and Tier 1s to innovate the mobility solutions of tomorrow. With expertise in deep learning and data acquisition, we are poised to lead the emerging Interior Sensing market as well.

Automotive Solutions

From the introduction of airbags to the use of advanced driving assistance systems, the automotive industry’s ongoing efforts have significantly enhanced road safety in the last decades. Still, around 1.19 million people globally die in traffic accidents each year (Source: WHO). 

Despite important technological advancements, car accidents often come down to human error. In fact, recent years’ increased automation and connected devices can even run the risk of causing more distraction in drivers. Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) have emerged as a key technology to reduce human error and save lives. Camera-based DMS reduces accidents caused by inattention and drowsiness, crucially alerting drivers to lapses in focus. Driver Monitoring Systems have become a mandatory safety feature in many parts of the world. As a result, DMS has transitioned from an exclusive feature in premium cars to an essential element in all new vehicles. This global development has helped Smart Eye assume a market-leading position as a DMS provider to the automotive industry, delivering our technology to 322 car models with 21 of the world’s largest car manufacturers. 

Interior Sensing: a key market trend 

As the logical evolution of DMS, Interior Sensing technology is rapidly gaining traction in the automotive industry. Interior Sensing extends the capabilities of DMS to the entire cabin, offering valuable insights into the state of the cabin and the people in it. Interior Sensing is already recognized by rating organizations like Euro NCAP. Since 2023, Euro NCAP rewards points for child presence detection, which can detect a child alone in a car and alert the owner or emergency services to prevent heatstroke fatalities. An increasing number of car manufacturers are also choosing to use cameras and computer vision for more accurate and cost efficient occupant and seat belt detection, replacing other sensors. Beyond safety, there is growing industry interest in driver monitoring and cabin monitoring for its potential in enhancing comfort and entertainment, enabling a more personalized in-cabin experience. Especially in Asian markets, there is a strong demand for entertainment features enabled by cabin monitoring, but OEMs all over the world are looking to use this technology to differentiate themselves from competitors.

AI expertise contributes to Smart Eye’s market-leading position 

Smart Eye’s expertise in deep learning, data acquisition and annotation, and synthetic data generation has earned us a leading position in the market. Our algorithms, developed through computer vision and deep learning, are hardware agnostic and optimized to support a wide range of cameras and Systems on Chip (SoC), from the low to the very high-end. 

As a result of the versatility of our algorithms in classifying human states, behaviors, and objects, Smart Eye stands as the market leader in the embedded DMS market. Measured by design wins, number of OEM customers and cars on the road, Smart Eye holds a clear lead. This leadership can be expected to extend to the emerging Interior Sensing market as well. Employing the same hardware and software infrastructure used for DMS, Smart Eye’s technology enables OEMs to cost-effectively add Interior Sensing features that differentiate their cars from the competition. 

Automotive Solution’s business model 

The Automotive Solutions business unit sells software to OEMs, traditionally through Tier 1 suppliers, for integration in vehicles as well as for use in early-stage R&D. However, OEMs are starting choose to work directly with Smart Eye as a software Tier 1.

Status of DMS regulations and ratings

Euro NCAP: DMS adds contributing points for detection of drowsiness, distraction, and unresponsive drivers. Since 2023, Euro NCAP also rewards points for Interior Sensing features such as child presence detection. From 2026 and forwards, Euro NCAP will extend their assessment protocol to also include features such as seat belt detection and driver incapacitation. 

EU: General Safety Regulations (GSR), Advanced Driver Distraction Warning: This regulation mandates DMS for all new vehicle type approvals from July 2024, and for all new vehicle registrations from July 2026. 

China: Required today in some vehicles, such as long-distance trucks and vehicles transporting hazardous goods, in some provinces. By 2026, the requirements will extend to passenger cars. 

USA: DMS is currently not mandatory for manual driving. However, DMS is part of the Moving Forward Act under consideration by the Senate. Also, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed by the US Congress in 2021, includes a mandate that new cars will need to have DMS technology that detects alcohol impairment starting in 2026. This requirement will likely extend to new trucks and buses as well. 

Comprehensive OEM support throughout the automotive lifecycle

Smart Eye, through the combined expertise of our various business units, is capable of supporting OEM customers throughout the automotive lifecycle. This support spans from early-stage R&D and prototyping to advanced engineering, final development, data acquisition and annotation and annotation, testing before production, and assessing customer responses to over-the-air updates of software features in cars on the road.

Remarkable achievements in 2023 reflect steady market growth 

Smart Eye achieved notable milestones throughout 2023, such as securing production program wins for wide and narrow-angle camera systems. The business unit’s customer base expanded from 18 OEMs in December 2022 to 21 OEMs by April 2024, while the number of car models to be equipped with Smart Eye’s technology increased from 194 to 322, reflecting steady market growth and continued market leadership for Smart Eye. 

In 2024, Smart Eye plans to remain in a leading position in both DMS and the emerging Interior Sensing market. We will also continue to prioritize innovation and research, ensuring that our automotive solutions maintain a technological and competitive edge – consistently enhancing safety and defining the future of mobility.


Interested in learning more? Download our ebook Interior Sensing: The Next Frontier in Improving Road Safety and the Mobility Experience here, or contact us today!

Written by Ashley McManus
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