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Australian, U.S. Companies Partner on Driver-Distraction Tech

September 03, 2014

Photo: Seeing Machines
Photo: Seeing Machines

Australia-headquartered Seeing Machines has signed a 15 year strategic alliance with TK Holdings Inc., the Americas subsidiary of Takata Corporation (Takata) an automotive industry supplier of advanced driver safety systems (ADAS). The companies have been collaboratively developing driver monitoring technology for two years and have recently secured a contract to deliver the first ever mass-manufactured implementation of a driver-monitoring system that will warn drivers of lapses in attention, reducing the risk of potentially fatal accidents.

The strategic alliance is responding to potential product opportunities from numerous global automotive manufacturers and the alliance will also pursue opportunities beyond passenger cars, into all forms of road-going vehicles. The agreement with TK Holdings Inc. is another step in the implementation of Seeing Machines’ recently announced business strategy, the company said. In 2013, Seeing Machines announced a strategic agreement with Caterpillar Inc. that has resulted in the worldwide availability of its Fatigue Monitoring Systems through Caterpillar authorized dealers.

The Seeing Machines’ Operator Monitoring System is based on patented eye-tracking technology that uses sensing equipment that requires no recalibration between different drivers and tracks head alignment for potential distraction of the driver, according to the company.

“Eye and head tracking technology is the next step in automotive safety, and will play a significant role in the reduction of one of the greatest causes of accidents: driver distraction,” said Ken Kroeger, CEO of Seeing Machines. “We strongly believe that the addition of driver monitoring to ADAS will deliver a significant improvement to the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of every 10 fatal crashes in the U.S. involves distraction.

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