Hyundai and Kia are defending class-action lawsuits because apparently anti-theft technology is not keeping up with the cultural rot plaguing our youth, writes an Automotive News reader.
Technology is making in-vehicle digital cockpits more intelligent by using deeper machine-learning capabilities to create more robust occupant monitoring features and other systems.
The advancements were on display at the InCabin Phoenix conference held this month.
The three-day event, hosted by AutoSens, drew companies from around the world to share new in-cabin technology, spanning deeper machine-learning capabilities to more robust occupant monitoring systems.
Novelic, a radar and sensor company in Serbia, was at InCabin Phoenix to highlight the capabilities of its radar automotive cabin monitoring system.
The system, currently undergoing testing in Europe and the U.S., can detect a child left in the car and includes other safety features such as an intruder alert and the specific location of other passengers sitting in the vehicle.
The company's radar system can provide a suite of in-cabin monitoring features using one sensor, said Veselin Brankovic, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Novelic.
"We are claiming that it is possible, with one single sensor, which is affordable, to completely cover [a] five-seat vehicle inside cabin space," Brankovic told Automotive News.
The ability to use one sensor for various monitoring capabilities helps to reduce the overall application cost for automakers, he said.
Brankovic said he expects the company's in-cabin radar sensor system to be in production vehicles in the U.S. and Europe as early as the fourth quarter of 2025 or the first quarter of 2026.
AI image processing
iCatch Technology Inc., a Taiwanese imaging company, showcases advancements made with its AI image-processing capabilities.
One iCatch innovation is its event-based monitoring sensor. The system — created in partnership with Sony, Samsung and vision technology company Prophesee — detects in-vehicle behavior but with more privacy protection than most monitoring systems. Rather than collecting extremely detailed images of vehicle occupants, the sensor system captures objects in movement.
"Another advantage of it is, because it only captures objects in movement compared to traditional sensors, it has much less data to process, which requires less computing power for in-cabin sensing," said Alex Chen, iCatch's sales and marketing director.
Synthesis AI, a technology company in San Francisco, highlighted some of its advancements in using synthetic data to build computer vision models that can be used to enhance in-cabin monitoring systems.
"We're debuting a number of expanded capabilities around driver monitoring," Yashar Behzadi, founder and CEO of Synthesis AI, told Automotive News. "We're announcing 100,000 unique identities."
That vast number of unique identities enables Synthesis AI to address the challenges associated with AI-based technology to assess varying human dynamics including demographic, skin tone, age and the size of individuals.
Another Synthesis AI in-cabin advancement significantly enhances driver and occupant monitoring for key use cases such as falling asleep, texting or not wearing a seat belt.
Behzadi said synthetic AI can also be used to improve the capabilities of in-cabin technology in ways that goes well beyond safety.
"For instance, if it recognizes the individual driving, perhaps it brings up the preferences for that individual … the entertainment system … the seat and all these different elements," Behzadi said. "If someone in the backseat says, 'I'm cold; move my temperature to 75 degrees,' the system understands who's talking."
Asahi Kasei is in the race to figure out how to passively detect drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and deliver its solution in time for a new U.S. technology mandate.
Automakers cut 56,700 vehicles from their global production plans last week because of the microchip shortage, all in North America and Europe.
The count of U.S. franchised dealerships rose in 2022, after two years of declines, while new-vehicle sales per franchise dropped amid slower sales, according to Automotive News' annual dealer census.