Seeing Machines Watches Human Self-Driving Backup Drivers

Seeing Machines’ Guardian BdMS is designed to ensure that back-up drivers in self-driving research vehicles are alert and ready to take control at any time. (PRNewsfoto/Seeing Machines Limited)

Seeing Machines Limited the advanced computer vision technology company that designs AI-powered operator monitoring systems to improve transport safety, has launched a retrofit driver monitoring system for autonomous vehicles in response to clear demand from the broadening deployment of semi-autonomous and autonomous research vehicles.

The Guardian Backup-driver Monitoring System (Guardian BdMS) is designed to ensure that the backup-driver in a self-driving research vehicle is alert, aware and ready to take control of the driving task whenever necessary.

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

A growing number of technology companies, automakers and fleet operators are developing semi-autonomous and autonomous research fleets. Testing automated vehicles on public roads is critical for effective research and development, but testing brings clear risks to the general public. In most cases human backup-drivers are employed during the testing phase to help assure safe operation of the vehicle at all times.

The US National Transportation Safety Board recommended in 2017 that driver monitoring systems should be installed when testing autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles in order to enhance safety and minimise accidents related to fatigue, dwindling attention or distraction on the part of the backup-driver.

The Guardian BdMS leverages Seeing Machines’ automotive-grade FOVIO driver monitoring technology in a convenient retrofit system for SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Level 3 (“eyes off”) to Level 5 (“driver off”) test vehicle fleets.

The primary function of the camera-based Guardian BdMS system is to track the backup-driver’s face and eyes during on-road automated or semi-automated vehicle testing, report driver state information (e.g. on-road, or off-road attention state), and identify distraction events of increasing severity (e.g. insufficient driver attention to the road scene).

1 thought on “Seeing Machines Watches Human Self-Driving Backup Drivers”

  1. If the future is autonomous, why even design it with a front and back? Autonomous vehicle can work on with the network, as they claim, so pull in frontward and drive out backwards. Ever notice most trains look the same from the front and back? They can go either direction without turning around, same will become the way with autonomous vehicles I think.

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