Jaguar Land Rover is working with Intel and Seeing Machines to develop sensing technology that monitors a driver's face and eyes to reduce distracted and drowsy driving.
Seeing Machines is a leader in the development of computer vision-related technologies that help machines understand people by tracking and interpreting human faces and eyes.
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Seeing Machines demonstrated its Driver Monitor System (DMS) in a Jaguar F-Type prototype developed jointly with Intel at Jaguar Land Rover's new R&D facility in Portland, Ore.
DMS uses attention-monitoring sensors in the dashboard to detect eye and facial movements so it can determine whether the driver has become inattentive, either because of drowsiness or distraction. The system can assess the state of the driver in real-world conditions, including in bright sunlight and when the driver is wearing glasses or sunglasses.
“The algorithm we have developed for DMS has the potential to seamlessly enable a host of safety and autonomous driving features and reduce the potential for accidents caused by the driver not paying attention,” explained Nick Langdale-Smith, vice president of Seeing Machines.
To deliver the processing power required by the DMS system, Seeing Machines asked Intel to install hardware in the F-Type prototype based on the newest Intel Core i7 chips.
“The attention-monitoring technology we are showcasing at CES has huge potential for road safety,” said Wolfgang Ziebart, engineering director of Jaguar Land Rover. “If the driver’s gaze moves towards the infotainment screen or out of a side window, and the car identifies this, then the system could alert the driver to hazards earlier. DMS could even enhance settings in safety systems like Autonomous Emergency Braking to reflect the driver’s lack of attention. As the car drives up to a hazard, the brakes could engage autonomously sooner because the car realizes the driver has not seen the danger ahead.”
DMS could also help the car share information with the driver more effectively. Jaguar Land Rover is currently researching a next-generation heads-up display that could use the full width of the windshield. The idea is to present the right information at the right time, without requiring the driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
“Whether we are projecting a transparent view of the bonnet, or helping the driver to navigate by following a ghost car, it would be very useful to understand exactly when the driver’s eyes aren’t actually looking at the windscreen to see this information, so it can be repeated or shared in a different way,” Ziebart noted.