Ford and Intel have teamed up to produce an in-car camera that boosts security and safety, while improving the in-car experience for both driver and passengers.
Called ‘Project Mobii’, the camera faces rearward from the front of the interior, able to see who is in the vehicle and what they are doing.
When the driver’s seat is occupied, the camera quickly scans the would-be driver to ensure they are authorised to drive the vehicle.
If given the all clear, the system then personalises the interior settings, music and smartphone operations to suit the driver’s pre-set preferences.
If the occupant isn’t recognised by the camera, their image is then sent to the owner’s smartphone for them to approve that person as a new driver, or reject them.
The owner can also determine the level of access the new driver has to features such as text messaging or even limit the vehicle’s top speed, giving them the ability to restrict features for less-experienced drivers if they choose.
An owner can also use their phone to call upon the cameras to search the interior of their car, providing them with a 360 degree view to look for a misplaced item.
With a passenger in the car the system will shift to ‘privacy mode’, blocking personal information from view if desired and allowing the passenger to access the touchscreen while on the move.
A driver can point to objects and give voice commands while driving, with Intel using the example of opening a sunroof while on the move (see video, top of page).
“Our goal with the Mobii research is to explore how drivers interact with technology in the car and how we can then make that interaction more intuitive and predictive,” Ford’s Paul Mascarenas said.
“The use of interior imaging is purely research at this point, however the insights we’ve gained will help us shape the customer experience in the long-term.”
No word yet from Ford or Intel as to when we can expect to see Project Mobii in dealer showrooms.
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