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Industry Focuses More on Passenger-Aware Tech Than Self-Driving Tech

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Self-driving car tech still has a ways to go before it is ready for widespread implementation in modern vehicles. In the meantime, the industry is turning its attention to passenger-aware technologies that focus on what’s happening inside of the car instead of outside of it. Here are just a couple of current automotive technologies that increase’s a car’s awareness of its human passengers. 

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Facial Recognition AI (Chooch)

Computer vision company Chooch is developing facial recognition tech that would enable a vehicle to detect the rightful owner via a built-in camera system. Per Analytics India Magazine, the system matches faces with identity cards within the vehicle. Rental car companies could implement this tech to help increase security with their fleet vehicles. 

Human Perception AI (Affectiva)

Software company Affectiva is fine-tuning an AI system that can detect emotions and expressions in the driver. The goal is to help identify and curb drowsy driving, though the system can also be used to adjust the vehicle’s cabin settings and performance depending on the driver’s behavior. For instance, it can detect when passengers are cold and adjust the cabin temperature accordingly. 

Privacy concerns

Like with any AI-based technology, it’s normal to question how these systems will protect users’ personal information. To this end, some companies are exploring something called edge AI. Gizmodo defines this term as “specialized hardware that can run deep learning algorithms locally without needing a link to the cloud.” In other words, human-awareness systems could store data locally instead of on the cloud to better safeguard consumer data. 

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