It is becoming increasingly important for automobile makers around the world to introduce advanced sensing capabilities into their products for enhanced driver and passenger safety, and driver comfort. These capabilities may be enforced by the national regulator, an industry watchdog or added by the manufacturer themselves to differentiate their product from the competition. The preferred method of implementing safety and comfort features like life presence detection, occupancy detection, passenger classification and driver alertness monitoring, etc. is by adopting an electronic architecture for the automotive control system.
Among the wireless technologies that can be used for in-cabin monitoring, radar at millimeter wavelengths (mmWave) is gaining enormous momentum due to its strengths like insensitivity to lighting conditions, high sensitivity to motion, and highly accurate estimation of velocity, range and angle of arrival.
Azcom Technology offers ISO26262 compliant software solutions for in-cabin monitoring systems. Among other benefits, these innovative features will increase passenger safety (Life Presence Detection, Driver & Passenger Monitoring) and facilitate transition to intelligent restraint and airbag systems (Seat Occupancy Localization and Passengers Classification).
It is globally recognized that child deaths due to heatstroke suffered inside unattended cars is a severe and entirely avoidable problem that deserves special attention.
Global agencies like NCAP have decided to address this important safety issue by including the Child Presence Detection feature in their Euro NCAP 2022 roadmap. NCAP will reward (accord a higher safety rating to) the car manufacturers who include Child Presence Detection as a standard feature in their products. This feature detects the presence of a child inside the car to alert the driver and raise an alarm, when appropriate.
Among other automotive applications, the ability to reliably detect whether and how the car cabin is occupied by passengers is becoming an important use case for car manufacturers. Principal applications of this capability are seat belt reminder functions and autonomous airbag management.
In case of autonomous vehicles, it will also be critical to continuously monitor vehicle occupancy without creating privacy concerns.
Radar sensors, combined with special ad hoc algorithms, are well-suited for such applications.
Azcom’s solution allows reliable detection of occupancy of the entire cabin in a moving environment, where vibrations and other impairments put several challenges to the robustness of the system.
In addition to identifying and localizing the presence of a passenger inside a car, most of the upcoming intelligent monitoring systems are also required to classify the passengers into different classes, e.g. adult or child. 3D imaging radar sensors provide enough resolution and accuracy to open the possibility of adopting modern machine learning techniques and solve this problem.
Azcom offers a solution for passenger classification that can be combined with other safety features to build a complete interior radar-based monitoring system.
A mmWave sensor is capable of measuring body displacements due to breathing and heartbeat. This capability can be used to track and monitor driver’s and passengers’ vital signs. This feature finds applications in driver drowsiness or distraction warning systems, and post-crash monitoring systems.
Azcom’s Automobile In-Cabin Monitoring solution is capable of monitoring vehicle occupants’ breathing and heart rate.