Despite stalling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, strong growth is predicted for vehicle biometrics across vehicle security, driver identification and driver monitoring. Two new examples from Hyundai and Subaru show the technologies entering the market.
Automotive biometrics on track to become billion-dollar sector
The automotive biometrics market is forecast to reach US$1.13 billion by 2025 with a compound annual growth rate of 12 percent to 2025, and 16.3 percent to 2028, according to a report by Market Research Future. Covering vehicle security, driver identification and health monitoring, growth is expected to be led by the passenger vehicle market throughout the forecast period rather than commercial use.
From the early days on automotive biometrics (2018), fingerprints were the main biometric markers and vehicle security the main use case. Driver safety systems are now expected to witness higher growth until the end of 2025.
Key players are noted as Fujitsu, Synaptics, Fingerprint Cards, Hitachi, HID Global, EyeLock parent VOXX International and Nuance Communications. While North America has seen large growth up to now, Europe is anticipated to experience rapid growth.
The report highlights some barriers to growth. The high cost of in-car biometrics systems, supply shortages and labor issues during the COVID-19 pandemic and “the failure of electronic components utilized in connectivity infrastructure”.
Hyundai patents in-car iris biometrics authentication
Hyundai has patented a biometric system to verify a driver via iris recognition to allow engine ignition and adjust the cabin to that driver’s stored preferences, reports The Drive.
The system is aided by an infrared camera to detect whether the driver is wearing sunglasses or whether the face is otherwise obstructed. Then the cabin lighting can be adjusted and the driver asked to remove sunglasses to allow clear access to the iris. Even the steering wheel can be moved by the vehicle to allow a better line of sight.
The Drive notes that Hyundai has previously empowered vehicle unlocking via smartphones with fingerprint sensors. It is not clear whether iris scanning would be in addition to this.
Subaru SUV comes with face biometrics to monitor driver
Top of the range models of Subaru Canada’s new 2023 Outback SUV will have infrared camera and facial analysis technology. Debuted at the New York International Auto Show, the vehicles will monitor driver behavior via a dedicated infrared camera and face biometrics software to detect fatigue or distraction.
The system can issue audio and visual warnings to alert driver and passengers.
An array of other sensor and camera-based systems with computer vision offer features such as blind spot detection, automated lane centering, rear cross-traffic alert and hazard perception with automated braking.
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