Automobile facial recognition software in the 2019 Subaru Forrester could cut down on distracted driving while making another case for biometrics in vehicles. The biometric technology in the fifth-generation of the SUV, scheduled to arrive at retailers later this year, represents the latest move by manufactures to marry automotive technology with gear that can read drivers’ facial signals and then improve their rides.
The DriverFocus software uses infrared sensors to monitor the driver and spot or anticipate distraction
The Subaru facial recognition system, called DriverFocus, stands as the first such biometric platform in the compact SUV segment, Subaru says. DriverFocus aims to reduce the estimated 1,000 injuries per day in the United States that involve distracted driving. The feature will come standard on Forrester’s Touring models, the most expensive Forrester model.
DriverFocus “is a driver monitoring system that uses facial recognition software to identify signs of driver fatigue or driver distraction. DriverFocus works with Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology to reduce the chance of an accident,” Subaru says.
EyeSight is Subaru’s standard driver assist system and includes such safety features as automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and sway warning, and lane-keep assist. DriverFocus can also recognize up to five drivers and remember their presets for seat position, climate, and multifunction display.
Automobile facial recognition software uses infrared sensors
The DriverFocus software uses infrared sensors to monitor the driver and spot or anticipate distraction. For instance, if that driver looks away from the road for more than three seconds, the system will beep. Beeping several times without getting a driver response will result in the SUV automatically slowing to a stop. The system does not enable entry into the vehicle, but only monitors for distracted driving.
Subaru’s DriverFocus facial recognition software, the Japan-based carmaker’s first move into biometric monitoring for drivers, represents the spread of that technology to non-luxury vehicles. Luxury brands such as Lexus and Cadillac already offer facial recognition technology in their higher-priced vehicles, according to reports.
In general, fingerprints, facial recognition and other forms of digital ID and biometric security for automobiles are gaining ground in the industry, a world that traditionally seemed outside the scope of identification technology.
Chrysler, for instance, wants to mount a camera behind the steering wheel that would scan the driver’s face to confirm his or her identity. The vehicle, working off a stored driver profile, then could adjust the seat position and music station, bring up a daily lists of tasks and perform other functions tailored to that specific driver.