From a specialized air-conditioning system which kills bacteria to the Sensory Steering Wheel, the engineers at Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) seem to be busy developing new unique features for their upcoming vehicles. Now, the British automaker is stepping up their game by revealing a new facial recognition software which can tell how the driver is feeling (i.e. bored or uncomfortable) and automatically adjusting cabin settings to make drives more pleasant.
Sounds like a thing of science fiction doesn't it? However, the tech has actually been around for some time now. In other vehicles, the facial recognition software is used to alert the driver when he/she is fatigued or feeling drowsy. Instead of simply alerting the driver, however, JLR's facial recognition tech will detect the driver's mood and adjust cabin settings accordingly.
The system works by using a driver-facing camera, facial recognition software and biometric sensing to monitor the driver and evaluate his/her state of mind. Depending on how the driver is feeling, JLR's AI technology can adjust temperature and interior lighting to calming colors if the driver is stressed. It can also select the driver's favorite playlist should the system detect signs of tiredness.
JLR claims the system can continuously adapt to “nuances in the driver’s facial expressions” and make the appropriate adjustment each time. In a way, the system will essentially be teaching itself how to “read” the driver's mood. This way, the driver will no longer have to adjust anything and simply set off.
As we move towards a self-driving future, the emphasis for us remains as much on the driver as it ever has. By taking a holistic approach to the individual driver, and implementing much of what we’ve learnt from the advances in research around personal wellbeing over the last 10 or 15 years, we can make sure our customers remain comfortable, engaged and alert behind the wheel in all driving scenarios, even monotonous motorway journeys, said Dr. Steve Iley, JLR’s chief medical officer.
Aside from monitoring the driver, JLR is also working on similar technology for rear passengers with a camera mounted behind the front headrests. It would supposedly be able to dim lights, tint windows and adjust temperatures when the system detects drowsiness, helping the passengers sleep.