Denso Teams Up With FotoNation For World’s Best Driver Status Detection

denso fotonation

One of the world’s largest automotive technology suppliers, Denso, has teamed up with Xperi’s FotoNation to deliver what’s bound to be the world’s most sophisticated driver status detection. #automagic

It’s not the first time we tackle the subject of drivers’ attention at the wheel; the fact that at least 100,000 car crashes stem from inattentiveness or driver fatigue is undeniable. But what can a drowsy driver do if there’s no other human to keep him alert? Rely on a state-of-the-art driver monitoring system.

That’s what Denso and FotoNation, a company specialized in image recognition technologies from Xperi Corporation, want to do. Denso’s cabin camera system, Driver Status Monitor, is already used in heavy trucks and buses. It’s able to detect driver drowsiness and alert the driver when it thinks they’re distracted or falling asleep at the wheel. Now, though, it will do an even better job thanks to FotoNation’s facial recognition and neural networks technologies.

The system will not only detect and track the relative positions of eyes, nose, mouth, and other facial regions. It will also be able to focus on the driver’s gaze direction and facial expressions more accurately, understanding the state of the driver and thus preventing unwanted accidents. Plus, things like sunglasses, masks or other facial accessories will no longer be obstacles for this advanced system.

“We are excited to partner with DENSO to innovate in such a dynamic field,” said Jon Kirchner, CEO of Xperi Corporation. “This partnership will play a significant role in paving the way to the ultimate goal of safer roadways through use of our imaging and facial analytics technologies and DENSO’s vast experience in the space.”

Plus, we have to think of the future – such innovations will make it easier to develop systems that can help drivers switch from an autonomous level 3 mode to the conventional one.

Denso is set to showcase a prototype next-generation driver status monitor at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall, from October 27 to November 5, 2017.

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