Face recognition is finding its way into the new generations of cars in an attempt to increase safety and convenience. From car ignition to theft prevention – there are countless possibilities of using facial recognition in cars.
Last year, about $6 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in the US alone. Obviously, there is a need for a new, reliable safety measure that would keep car owners at peace even when they’re not around their car. Face recognition could provide that extra layer of safety and help reduce thefts.
Face recognition works on a simple and non-obtrusive principle. After a driver enrolls into the system, the system “remembers” them. Each time they enter the vehicle again, the system “recognizes” them and gives them access to predefined functionalities such as the permission to start the car.
Car owners can also set up permissions or restrictions for other people such as family members. For example, they could set up certain restrictions on their children learning to drive such as a time or speed limit or deny access without an adult present. If an unauthorized person enters the car, the system can notify the owner or block the car from starting. This helps prevent theft and give owners a better control of their car.
Face recognition must be robust enough to recognize the driver in all situations. This not only includes changes in appearance such as growing a beard or wearing glasses, but also different lights and angles.
Increased safety is not the only benefit of face recognition in cars. It can also be used to automatically adjust car settings to each user’s personal preferences. By storing driver profiles containing their preferred car settings, the system can automatically restore those settings after verifying the driver.
For example, as soon as an authorized driver enters the car, the system can automatically play their favorite radio station, adjust heating, fine tune mirrors and seat position, and more. This way, the driver can enjoy a fully personalized in-cabin experience from the start.
Besides monitoring the driver, it’s also possible to monitor the other passengers, too. That way, the backseat experience can be optimized as well. For example, the system can adjust the air conditioning based on the number and location of the occupants.
Face recognition can be combined with face tracking and face analysis to provide the complete picture of the driver’s states and moods.
By tracking driver’s face, gaze and emotions, the system can detect inattentiveness, drowsiness, road rage and other potential safety issues. Data can also be linked to a specific driver profile of the to provide better insights and adjust car settings accordingly.
Relevant driver data allows the system to predict and address potential safety issues on time. For example, if a specific route tends to elicit anger from a specific driver, the system can recommend a different route. Furthermore, if the driver has been driving for hours and appears tired or distracted, they can receive a warning asking them to stop the car and rest.
The goal is to detect a potential safety threat on time. There are various ways in which the system can then intervene including audible warnings, seat vibrations, a slight take over of the vehicle control such as slowing the car down, and more. This helps avoid car accidents and keep the driver safe until they reach their destination.
Vehicular heat strokes are a huge problem that has not yet been solved on a large scale. The sensors that could detect kids in cars are expensive, so they often do not come in cars. However, there is an alternative; a simple camera with a face recognition system could help recognize unattended children in vehicles and warn parents on time.
Besides keeping the kids safe, the system could also adjust the entertainment systems to a more family-friendly content when it detects a child in the car.
Face recognition is becoming an inevitable part of the next generation of cars. Besides keeping the driver safe and preventing theft, it enables a better, more personalized in-cabin experience for all car occupants. Combined with face tracking and face analysis, it can help create a meaningful driver profile that can help bring the entire in-cabin experience to a higher level.
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