For cabin sensing, the technology company combines its know-how around the importance of interior cameras for human-machine interaction with its expertise in radar sensor technology. The technology meets future safety regulations of the European Commission and the consumer protection organisation European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP).
For the first time, the new system integrates the camera directly into the display instead of the steering column or instrument cluster, as was previously the case. According to Ulrich Lüders, Head of Strategy and Portfolio in the Human Machine Interface business unit at Continental, the company is relying on extreme miniaturisation of the technology to achieve this. "This opens up completely new possibilities for us in terms of positioning," says Lüders.
The complexity of this technology lies, on the one hand, in integrating the optics and sensors, which have been minimised to around ten millimetres, precisely and completely into the display so that the highest demands on aesthetics and design are met. On the other hand, there is the precise positioning of the radar sensor, which must ensure that all areas of the interior are equally covered. The combination of both technologies as well as the precise integration and positioning opens up various use cases for cabin sensing.
The solution should reliably detect living objects in the vehicle - including children or animals. This is particularly important with regard to future safety standards: Continental's solution meets the new requirements of the EU General Safety Regulation (GSR). In addition, car manufacturers can use it to gain points in Euro NCAP, advertises Lüders.
The radar sensor in Continental's cabin sensing solution detects living objects such as babies and animals in the vehicle
From 2024, the EU Commission will prescribe driver and vehicle monitoring systems in the type approval requirements of the GSR for new approvals, for example to detect drowsiness or lack of driver attention. These legislative changes are accompanied by another regulatory driver: