Modern cars are becoming more and more like smartphones, so the inherent methods of interaction with the user are also being used in the automotive segment. Driver authentication by face, voice and fingerprint is used in production vehicles and is mentioned in patent applications.
Tesla recently announced the use of an interior-facing camera on its electric cars to monitor driver status. The company’s patent application, as noted by Business Korea, citing Fox News, will allow Tesla to use the camera to identify the driver in the Model 3 and Model Y electric cars. The resulting biometric data would be stored in the onboard system of the electric car without leaving its confines without the owner’s knowledge. Facial recognition of the driver not only gives access to automatic application of the settings profile for a specific person, but also to payment for goods and services directly from the car’s interior.
By the way, Tesla did not give up on the idea of using infra-red sensors either, though Elon Musk himself is against lidar applications. And yet, in the patent application the company describes a method of scanning terrain and road conditions using infrared cameras. The information can be used to control the suspension and emergency braking in case serious road surface defects are detected.
Other car makers are keeping up with the biometric driver identification trend too. The Kia K9 sedan already offers fingerprint recognition of the driver, automatically adapting the position of the seat, mirrors and climate control parameters. Paying for services from inside the car will also be easier with this method of identity verification.
Chinese carmakers and Foxconn are ready to combine voice recognition and a direct voice interface to control the car’s on-board system. It is these features that will form the basis of the multimedia centre being developed by Foxconn as part of its partnership with the Stellantis alliance. Volvo and Geely vehicles will receive similar systems.