Subaru Corp applied its first "driver monitoring system (DMS)" to the US model of the "Forester" mid-size SUV (sport utility vehicle).
It detects the driver dozing at the wheel or looking aside and gives a warning. This function has already been commercialized by other companies. However, Subaru claims that it has applied a function to recognize pre-registered drivers and automatically adjust the position of the seat, the angles of the side mirrors, the settings of the air conditioner, etc for the first time in the world.
An individual can be identified even in the dark by using an LED lamp to emit near-infrared light and taking an image of the driver with an infrared camera. The range of the near-infrared light spreads from the driver's seat to the outside of the door. So, it is possible to identify the driver and prepare for the automatic adjustment even before he or she rides in the car.
Also, the shooting range of the camera is wide and covers the driver's seat and the front passenger' seat. This is for the future extension of the DMS function, Subaru said. Therefore, the company is probably considering identifying a front passenger in the future.
For facial recognition, deep-learning technologies are not used. Instead, Subaru employed a rule-based technology developed by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. It uses the positional relationship of the driver's eyes, nose and mouth for personal identification. To improve accuracy, more than 500 people of various races participated in tests.