What your face tells about you


February 5, 2020

Timo Posio

Launched by Tampere University together with several Finnish companies in the global automotive industry value chain, MIVI, Multimodal In-Vehicle Interaction and Intelligent Information Presentation, is an automotive consortium that aims to innovate and pilot future solutions for multimodal in-vehicle interaction and intelligent HMIs.

It’s only the very beginning of the story but the value in bringing together siili_auto’s in-depth expertise in car HMIs and Visidon’s knowledge and experience with facial recognition technology are already evident.

So, facial recognition. It’s already somewhat familiar to us as something that unlocks our mobile phones, but what’s in it for cars? Another nice gimmick to flaunt to our friends and to distract us from what we actually should be focusing on when in a car, the driving?

Quite the opposite, actually.

Facial analysis in this context is AI and machine learning based analysis of a human face via a live camera feed. It can be categorised to three different sub-topics:

Face recognition — identification

Face tracking — track head pose in 3D space, eye closure, gaze direction, facial expressions

Face analysis — gender, age, drowsiness, stress, mood

Yep, you get it, the world of opportunities. Facial analysis in cars enables a new era of driving. Let’s dig a bit deeper

It's cool, ok

Imagine getting into your car which unlocks when recognizing you. Handy, right (also considering the $6 billion lost to motor vehicle theft in the US alone)? Even more so when it automatically adjusts the driving settings to fit your personal preferences, starting from adjusting the temperature, turning on your favorite radio station, fine-tuning the mirrors and adapting your seat.

But there’s more.

Driving has never been this safe

Apart from making the driving experience easier and maximizing comfort, facial recognition enables safety of a whole new level.

With there being zero latency in utilizing the data collected, the car immediately detects any drowsiness, sleepiness or absent-mindedness acting accordingly. It can alert the driver with voice and in-air haptics and suggest a pause making sure the driver stays alert during the drive.

And then the things we know we shouldn’t do but still do, like texting, speaking on the phone, snapchatting, drinking, reaching behind, fixing our hair or makeup, talking intensely to a person sitting next to us, trying to find a good song? There will be a change to that too whether we like it or not.

When at the wheel, you at the wheel.

What does MIVI bring to the table?

The additional value of MIVI stems from the unique combination of technology and design companies and university level research. A demo showcasing advanced facial analysis and tracking based in-car use was published less than a week ago giving a taste of what’s to come.

Working with research teams allows for research and fact-based results of the impact facial analysis has on in-car experience which can be used in developing new HMI concepts.

The timeframe

Safe, convenient and comfortable, we want it now. The tech is already incorporated in some of the premium models, but for it to be an everyday commodity might take a while — but possibly not that long a while. Due to EU’s new safety regulations mandatory in European cars by 2022 we will see an increase in the need and usage of facial analysis in detecting if the driver is drowsy or distracted. Future, we salute you.

Speaker profile / Timo Posio:

Timo Posio is a passionate technology and software guy and senior manager with close to 30 years of IT experience from telecom and automotive. Currently Timo works as a Head of Studio, Oulu at siili_auto.

Speaker profile / Jari Hannuksela:

Jari Hannuksela is a director of R&D at Visidon with over 20+ years of experience on computer vision and artificial intelligence development.

About the authors

Timo Posio

Timo Posio is a passionate technology and software guy and senior manager with close to 30 years of IT experience in telecom and automotive. Currently, Timo works as Business Development Manager in the Siili_Auto Oulu office.

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