New Toyota Tech Can Detect Your Breathing and Heartbeat
Toyota Connected North America has revealed a new technology called Cabin Awareness that uses high-resolution, millimeter-wave 4D imaging radar to detect occupants, including a variety of pets. The technology is so sensitive that it can even sense your heartbeat and breathing.
Cabin Awareness’s primary objective is to support the rear seat reminder systems that have been cropping up on new vehicles all over the industry. According to nonprofit organization Kids and Cars, 23 children died from heat stroke in 2021 after being left in vehicles, a quarter of whom accessed the car while it was unattended or unused.
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“The inside of a car can get up to 125 degrees in minutes even when outside temperature is as low as 60 degrees. Studies show children’s body temperatures rise three to five times faster than adults. If left in a vehicle during the summer, the inside cabin temperature can reach dangerous levels in just 10 minutes,” Toyota warns.
Therefore, Cabin Awareness not only detects life forms but can also alert drivers in a variety of ways when it does (yes, Toyota did use the term “life form.”) It can flash the lights on the instrument cluster, honk the horn, flash the emergency lights, and even notify owners via the Toyota app on their smartphone.
It can also be programmed to send alerts to smart home devices, send text messages to designated emergency contacts, or even contact first responders through the built-in SOS vehicle function. If that wasn’t enough, Toyota is still looking for other ways to “expand the reach of this alert.”
Though the technology’s main goal is to improve safety, we all know the truth. It’s to say goodbye to all those times we’ve gotten in the car and put a bag in the passenger seat, only to have to throw it on the floor because the car wouldn’t stop beeping at us that the passenger seat belt wasn’t fastened.
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.