Gentex Corp, the Zeeland, Mich., supplier of rearview mirrors and automotive connected-car technologies, has purchased an Israeli company with an advanced interior camera system technology that can detect occupant movements down to a heartbeat.
Guardian Optical Technologies, founded in 2014 in Tel Aviv, has developed an infrared-sensitive high-resolution camera that can detect movements of a driver and passengers, even if they are out of the camera's line of sight.
Gentex plans to incorporate the Guardian camera into a future version of its Full Display rearview mirror, which incorporates a camera that provides a broader view of the rear of the vehicle, Gentex said.
The system uses machine vision, depth perception and micro-vibration detection to monitor the driver, passengers in the cabin and all the objects in the interior. It continually scans the interior, tracking and determining the physical location of occupants. It does that by combining two-dimensional video image recognition with 3D depth mapping and optical motion analysis, according to Gentex.
"With a single sensor module, we can monitor driver alertness, fine-tune airbag deployment, track passenger behavior and even detect a sleeping child in a car seat in the rear of the vehicle," Neil Boehm, Gentex's chief technology officer, told Automotive News.
He said that incorporating the Guardian technology into a future Gentex system will require a redesign of the Full Display mirror, which is used on such vehicles as the Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac Escalade. The redesigned mirror with Guardian's camera could be on the market in late 2024, Boehm said.