Seeing Machines launches device for monitoring AV backup drivers

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Computer vision company Seeing Machines has launched its ‘Guardian’ system, which can be retrofitted to AV research vehicles to monitor that the safety driver is alert and ready to take control if necessary.

Today’s AV prototypes still need drivers who can intervene if the AV has failed to detect hazards, but remaining attentive during this often monotonous task can be a challenge for the driver.

The Guardian BdMS (Backup-driver Monitoring System) uses the company’s existing ‘FOVIO’ system, but in a retrofit unit.

The FOVIO system uses wide-angle cameras to track the face and eyes of the driver, analyzing whether they are paying attention to the road, independently of driver appearance, facial expression or natural behaviours. Meanwhile, it takes into account vehicle speed to adjust alerts accordingly.

Video of distraction events and related data can be recorded in encrypted form on 32GB onboard flash memory and can be downloaded to a PC via USB. Collected data can be sent to a user back-end on a server or cloud. The device also has a 1Mbps CAN message output option (via USB3 to CAN adaptor) with driver attention state, driver distraction event, alert and system health information.

Nick DiFiore, Seeing Machines’ senior vice president and automotive general manager, said, “Drawing on our eight-plus years’ experience in delivering driver monitoring safety solutions for commercial and industrial fleets, as well as in passenger car applications, we have developed a product designed specifically to meet the requirements of automated driving research fleet owners and operators, with the goal of safe innovation and on-road testing of automated driving technology.”

By Illya Verpraet

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