AV Stand-In Driver Monitoring System Launched

A system to keep tabs on the alertness of a stand-in human driver in an autonomous vehicle has been launched ahead of any real need of it.

Canberra’s Seeing Machines says its Guardian Backup-driver Monitoring System (Guardian BdMS) hardware will record the human occupant of an autonomous car’s alertness and concentration levels to ensure they’re in a fit state to take control of the vehicle should the situation call for them to do so. Of course, hands-off the steering wheel technology is still very much in the R&D testing stage and no vehicles on the market can claim to offer sufficiently robust Level 3 and above systems to warrant the gizmo. However, the company says it has already “signed an agreement with one customer” and claims to be in negotiations with several prominent autonomous carmakers.

The company says Guardian BdMS uses its “driver monitoring technology” system, FOVIO, in a way that has been retrofitted to meet the needs of vehicles offering levels of autonomy between Levels 3 and Level 5. It says it will “track the backup-driver’s face and eyes during on-road automated or semi-automated vehicle testing, report driver state information … and identify distraction events of increasing severity”. Seeing Machines senior vice-president Nick DiFiore claims it will assist “safe innovation and on-road testing of automated driving technology”.


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