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Alexandra Lawrence | Sep, 11 2018 | 0 Comments

An Australian company has developed an electronic watchman for engineers testing prototype autonomous vehicles.

Seeing Machines Limited, which has its headquarters in Canberra ACT, is a global company that specialises in advanced computer vision technology.

Named the Guardian Backup-driver Monitoring System, or Guardian BdMS, it is a camera-based system that tracks the backup-driver’s face and eyes during on-road automated or semi-automated vehicle testing, identifying distractions of increasing severity.

The Guardian BdMS ensures the backup-driver in a self-driving research vehicle is alert, aware and ready to take control of driving whenever necessary.

It comes in response to a woman’s death in Arizona earlier this year, after she was struck and killed by a self-driving car with a distracted backup-driver behind the wheel.

Since the incident, self-driving vehicle testing has taken a step backwards.

However, as car companies continue testing with automated vehicles, calls for safer processes have arisen.

Senior vice president at Seeing Machines, Nick DiFiore says automated driving will make driving easier, more comfortable, and eventually, safer.

“Entrusting the driving task to a computer will become a reality, but the journey will be gradual, complex and potentially dangerous.

“Automated vehicles need to operate safely and reliably in real-world conditions,” says DiFiore.

So far, Seeing Machines has signed an agreement with one customer and is reportedly in advanced discussions with a number of companies at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development.

 
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