A camera looks at a driver’s eyes, mouth and even ears to judge his or her attentiveness. Christie Schweinsberg reports.

It’s the future. Your vehicle is in automated-driving mode on the highway and suddenly you pass out.

But the highway is ending and that mode will soon be cancelled as your car approaches more complex city streets. What will happen?

Continental thinks it has found a solution to this scenario with its driver-analyser technology. Using a driver-facing camera and image-processing software, the supplier can determine if someone using an automated-driving mode falls unconscious (or is merely not paying attention). Infrared sensors also are included so facial movements can be detected during night time driving.

“(A driver passing out is) one use case which will probably come very soon on the automated driving road map – if something goes wrong, how to safely park the car, slow it down, bring it to a safe position?” Frank Rabe, executive vice-president instrumentation and driver HMI business unit for Continental tells WardsAuto in an interview here.

Rabe says Continental sees the technology, which he says is due in market in a few months in unnamed vehicles, as a way to help re-engage a driver who may be switching between an automated highway mode (SAE Levels 2 and 3) and non-automated city driving. This article first appeared in WardsAuto.

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