While companies such as Alphabet, Uber and GM face stringent standards and countless hours of testing as they focus on the development of fully autonomous vehicles, supplier Hyundai Mobis has set a much more short-term goal.
Instead of developing a self-driving car, the company wants to offer a fail-safe that protects tired drivers. Named DDREM, which stands for Departed Driver Rescue & Exit Manueuver, Hyundai Mobis’ new technology will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opening today in Las Vegas.
The company’s goal is to offer a level 4 autonomy system that can steer the vehicle and park it safely once it detects the driver has fallen asleep. The system monitors facial and eye movements through an infrared camera, as well as erratic driving patterns to detect drowsiness. Once the driver falls asleep, DDREM takes over all vehicle systems and finds the best place to park the car.
DDREM is meant to be another safety measure for the vehicle and it is not meant to steer the vehicle for more than 1.6km. As a result, the technology will not require as much testing as other self-driving systems like Waymo’s autonomous car that has gone through more than 1 billion miles of simulated driving per year and has driven more than 4 million miles on US roads according to the company’s website.
“Our research approach has been clinical; we are essentially working on a ‘cure’ for drowsy driving injuries and fatalities,” said David Agnew, Director of Autonomous Vehicle Development at Hyundai Mobis North America. “Through this approach, we are building a technology that will save many lives and offer immense peace of mind to drivers and passengers.”
The system is currently limited to focus on drowsiness but the company’s goal is to expand its applications to medical conditions such as seizures and cardiac arrest. In the meantime, research advances and Hyundai Mobis expects its technology to reach the market no later than 2022.
The data used in this article was sourced from Automotive News, Business Wire, CES and Waymo.