Editor’s Note: The author participated in a panel discussion at Informa’s recent Automotive Tech Week focusing on vehicle cockpits in 2030.
It’s impossible to foresee the automotive cockpits of the future or how we’ll interact with them, but I do know safety will continue to be a driving force as they are designed and engineered.
Ironically, one of the biggest changes to current cockpits is one you cannot see: infrared lighting. ams OSRAM’s infrared LEDs, lasers and sensors are key features in active Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for driver monitoring, eye tracking and hands-on detection.
Consumer Reports has evaluated many autopilot systems for performance, driver engagement, ease of use, notification when safe to use and unresponsive driver notification. The highest-rated systems featured direct driver monitoring systems, promoted driver engagement and knew the driver’s state at all times.
With the success of ADAS and driver monitoring in reducing accidents, it’s not surprising that the European Union has made ADAS mandatory in select vehicles starting in 2022.
In the U.S., the new infrastructure bill includes measures to improve safety on our roadways. The bill requires research into ways to reduce driver distraction and the implementation of distraction mitigation systems, such as driver monitoring, in the next three years.
Driver monitoring systems use invisible infrared light to illuminate drivers’ faces without distracting them. A camera then records about 30 or 60 images per second.
The recorded images are evaluated by a downstream system that analyzes everything from the blink frequency of the driver to the direction of their gaze to determine if the driver is paying attention.
To capture high-quality images, the illumination needs to be as bright and as uniform as possible. ams OSRAM’s Oslon Black infrared LEDs feature the high optical output, various beam angles and compact dimensions needed for automotive driver monitoring systems.
In addition, Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) offer a distinct advantage for driver monitoring systems. They combine the simple packaging of an infrared LED with the spectral width and speed of a laser.
ams OSRAM’s TARA2000-AUT is the world’s first AEC-Q102 qualified VCSEL and provides superior infrared (IR) illumination for both driver monitoring and in-cabin sensing applications. The high-power VCSEL can replace multiple low-power emitters, reducing the number of components and space required.
Future autopilot systems will likely fuse ams OSRAM LEDs, lasers and sensing technologies to monitor drivers and keep them engaged.
The company’s intelligent Osire product features individually addressable RGB LEDs that offer maximum flexibility in terms of color point, driver selection and interconnection in in-cabin lighting.
Osire allows OEMs to design intelligent choreographed visualization effects that can elevate drivers’ cognitive awareness, such as a blinking yellow light if the driver is fatigued.
Human perception is hugely impacted by visual and audio response and we are excited to leverage our infrared sensing and LED portfolio to create incredible experiences for consumers who demand faster, more efficient systems.
– Mike Godwin is Director of Automotive Applications Marketing and Architecture at ams OSRAM.