- Driver-facing cameras will soon be installed in millions of cars thanks to new rules in Europe.
- The cameras offer security benefits as well as new options for facial recognition functions.
- They can add $200 to the cost of a vehicle, creating an opportunity for suppliers to capture a new market.
Until recently, the handful of companies that supplied the automotive industry with driver-facing cameras filled orders for tens of thousands of units a year. Now they are starting to sell millions.
The boom is due to some updated regulations across the pond. From next year, the technology will be a prerequisite for obtaining a five-star safety rating under the European New Car Assessment Scheme. And in 2024, the European Commission will make it mandatory in all new cars.
Driver-facing camera systems are designed to detect signs of driver inattention or drowsiness and can even automatically slow the car, said Maite Bezerra, industry analyst at ABI Research. In a report on the effect of the new rules, it predicted that shipments of driver monitoring systems would increase by 487.5% between this year and 2027, representing $954 million in revenue.
As they are forced to install technology that can add $200 to the cost of a vehicle, automakers are considering additional use cases to capitalize on the investment.
Face ID could allow a car to recognize its driver and adjust seat position, infotainment settings, and more. Knowing the position of a driver’s head and tracking their gaze could enable more effective augmented reality applications. Ultimately, Bezerra said, it could even help power an AI-based personal assistant.
Bezerra predicted that from 2022 to 2025, shipments of vehicles equipped with driver monitoring systems will increase from 8 million to 30 million. By 2027, they could reach 47 million and represent more than half of global sales.
Europe would be a big part of that, as would China, which needs the technology in many commercial vehicles. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to add the systems to its safety rating system by 2026.
All of this means a boom time for the handful of vendors in the industry that offer these systems. “The opportunity for them is huge,” Bezerra said. She added that while more gamers will want to participate, these four established companies are poised to cash in.
machines to see
Headquarter: Canberra, Australia
Seeing Machines, which spun out of the Australian National University in 2000, provides hardware and software to monitor drivers, pilots, air traffic controllers and others. It works with transport companies such as Daimler, GM, Magna, Emirates and Qantas.
The company launched its Guardian system for commercial trucks and buses in 2016. It says the driver monitoring system has since traveled more than 800 million miles and detected more than 3.6 million “related driving events. fatigue and distraction”. He claims his technology is “scientifically proven to reduce fatigue events by over 90%”.
Seeing Machines has raised $5.7 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. It has a partnership with chipmaker Qualcomm.
Its CEO, Paul McGlone, has a background in logistics and supply chain management.
Headquarter: Tel Aviv, Israel
The Israeli company was founded as Eyesight Technologies and originally focused on computer vision. It updated its name in 2020 to reflect its expansion into neural networks – “Cipia” is a reference to the brain’s occipital lobe, which transforms visual inputs into environmental understanding.
The company says its products are now in millions of devices and it has agreements with five automakers. It recently announced that it was working with chipmakers Ambarella and Mobileye and that its driver monitoring system would be installed in a new electric SUV produced by Chinese automaker Chery.
Cipia is helmed by Yehuda Holtzman, who took over in May. Holtzman was previously CEO of On Track Innovations, a near-field communications and cashless payment company. The company raised $45.9 million in funding in four rounds, according to Crunchbase.
Headquarter: Municipality of Danderyd, Sweden
Tobii, a Swedish eye-tracking company, raised $121.8 million in funding in five rounds before its IPO in 2016. It offers eye-tracking and “attention computing” solutions for the health, games and education, as well as for the automobile. sector.
In August 2021, Tobii announced the acquisition of Phasya, whose biometric signal analysis software helped it launch a driver monitoring system.
Tobii CEO Anand Srivatsa took the helm in December after serving as a division general manager for another Tobii unit. An Intel veteran, Srivatsa holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford.
Headquarter: Netanya, Israel
A Cisco spin-off, Jungo went public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in July 2021. It works with automakers, major industry suppliers, fleet operators and aftermarket manufacturers. It has raised $17.5 million in funding over five rounds, the most recent of which was in 2006, according to Crunchbase. Its investors include Cisco and Intel’s Communications Fund.
Jungo says its VuDrive system meets the requirements set by European safety regulators. The product is designed to track a driver’s head position and gaze to check for distraction or drowsiness, and the company says fleet operators can use it to “grade” their drivers.
The company is headed by Cisco veteran Opher Suhami.