Smart Eye and ams OSRAM partner on 3D interior sensing for driver monitoring

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Human insight artificial intelligence (AI) company Smart Eye and provider of optical solutions ams OSRAM have collaborated on the development of technology which will enable driver monitoring systems (DMS) and occupant monitoring systems (OMS) to detect driver and passenger statuses and positions extremely precisely.

The pair’s ICARUS: Structured Light Evaluation Kit solution is described as a proof-of-concept which utilizes existing architectures inside vehicles to provide efficient high-performance 3D sensing capabilities for DMS and OMS at a cost-effective price point.

To create safer roadways, driver monitoring is viewed as extremely important. Technology or systems within a vehicle can ascertain whether a vehicle’s driver is tired or distracted before sending a warning to improve concentration levels.

The ICARUS system consists of Smart Eye’s interior sensing software and ams OSRAM’s dot illumination technology. This enables the generation of a precise depth map of the driver using a structured light method. The dot illuminator is installed on top of conventional flood illumination mechanisms and when paired with Smart Eye’s human insight AI-driven software the DMS is capable of supporting a range of new features with high precision. These include augmented reality heads-up display, secure driver authentication and advanced body position to further improve road safety.

The partners describe the technology as a low-cost upgrade for existing near infrared based DMS hardware, and only needs an additional ams OSRAM dot illuminator to work correctly. Compatible with existing 2D architectures, the solution can be fitted without needing to overhaul a vehicle’s entire system.

“We’re excited to collaborate with ams OSRAM on this innovative proof-of-concept. Driver monitoring is an essential function in new and existing vehicles on the road today,” said Henrik Lind, chief research officer, Smart Eye. “This technology is critical to progressing interior sensing technology during a time when demand from auto makers for intelligent DMS is rapidly accelerating. Smart Eye’s human-centric approach, combined with ams OSRAM’s technology, allows us to explore the boundaries of AI-based automotive technologies and inspire a future of innovative mobility advancements.”

“Structured light sensing technology is proven in the consumer market, where it is used for instance for secure face authentication in mobile phones,” commented Firat Sarialtun, global segment manager for in-cabin sensing, ams OSRAM. “Previously in the automotive world, however, 3D sensing has only been implemented with dedicated indirect time-of- flight (iToF) cameras. By combining our accurate depth maps generated by the ams OSRAM platform with Smart Eye’s robust, reliable and road-tested DMS, ICARUS can support the most advanced DMS features to improve the driving experience with the addition of just a single laser component.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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