Intelligent Car Interior Monitoring
When it comes to parking assistance or detecting pedestrians, modern cars can analyze their environment with high precision. But so far, what’s going on inside the car is less analyzed. Not so with a new type of system: it recognizes the number and size of the people inside the car and where they are focusing their attention. In this way, it provides the basis for novel assistance systems, such as those for autonomous driving.
We are expanding sensor technology to the entire interior by using depth-perception cameras. We capture the vehicle’s interior, identify the number of people, their size and their posture. From this we can deduce their activities. This is important for partially autonomous driving situations. For example, say the driver needs to turn around to the children sitting in the back seat. The system could display a video image of the back seat, so that the driver can keep their eyes on the road yet still see what the children are up to. Using the sensors, the system can estimate how long the driver will need to resume full control of the vehicle following a period of autonomous driving. Based on the information regarding where people are sitting and how big they are; airbags could also be adjusted to individual body sizes. And by analyzing the position of a passenger’s limbs, airbags could recognize special situations, such as when a passenger has their feet on the dashboard.
The future trend of autonomous cars requires a new approach to the topic of using space inside the car. Soon it will become the second place where we will spend the most time outside from home. Therefore, cars designers should carefully plan its space, which will be both a mobile workplace and an entertainment center. Our system, thanks to the network of sensors, cameras and hardware elements, will be able to recognize the mood of the travelers, adjust the interior parameters to their needs (e.g. automatic control of temperature and humidity inside the vehicle based on body temperature and thermal comfort of passengers measured with infrared cameras). A number of motion sensors will enable intuitive control of all multimedia without the need for a hardware control panel (using voice and virtual control). Moreover, a car computer, thanks to highly developed intelligence and a voice synthesizer, will become your travel companion and a reliable virtual assistant.