Hyundai Mobis develops radar-based passenger detection system

Mar 24, 2020   Technology

Hyundai Mobis has announced that it successfully developed the system for detecting rear-seat passengers with a 'radar' (ROA, Rear Occupant Alert), and it is planning to propose the system to global automakers.

The ROA is a device for preventing passengers from being left unattended in rear seats. In the past, the weight sensor of children's car seats or the ultrasonic sensor were used in general. Hyundai Mobis vastly improved detection accuracy by replacing them with the radar sensor. It is expected to greatly help prevent heatstroke accidents caused every summer by children being left unattended in vehicles and other safety accidents.


"The core of the passenger detection system, developed based on the radar which has been mostly acted as a sensor for autonomous driving, is the design of the software algorithm that discerns the micromovements of passengers," said Mr. Jang Jae-ho, Director of the EE Research Center, Hyundai Mobis. "As the radar can penetrate clothes and measure various biosignals, e.g. micromovements of passengers' chests and blood flow, it can detect the presence of passengers in rear seats more accurately. It overcame the weakness of the camera sensor, which cannot recognise babies covered in blankets. So far, there is no known case of application to global automakers."


If a passenger is left in the rear seat, the passenger detection system alerts the driver with the sound made when the door is closed, or through the instrument panel or smartphone. The system, developed by Hyundai Mobis, is known to have secured electromagnetic reliability so that it works normally near high-voltage lines and railroad tracks, and be precise enough to distinguish adults, infants and pets. Hyundai Mobis is planning to develop a radar capable of measuring the heartbeats of passengers and expand the biometric function this year.


Hyundai Mobis proactively developed related technologies because key global markets, such as North America and Europe, are introducing laws and regulations to prevent children from being left unattended in vehicles one after another.


In addition to this radar-based passenger detection system, Hyundai Mobis developed Driver State Warning (DSW), which prevents dozing off at the wheel by using the ‘camera’ to track the pupils, last year. The company is planning to secure sensor fusion technologies, which combine radars and cameras, one after another, and preempt the in-cabin sensor market.


The in-cabin sensor technology is an infrastructure technology that provides passenger safety and convenience in the high-level autonomous driving mode. In level 3 or higher autonomous driving, no driving is necessary in autonomous driving mode. As a result, it is estimated that various safety and convenience technologies for passengers will arrive quickly and quite robust in nature.


The DDREM (Departed Driver Rescue Exit and Maneuver), a new safety technology that Hyundai Mobis first introduced at CES 2018, is also based on the in-cabin sensing technology. This technology tracks the driver’s conditions, and if it detects dozing off at the wheel, the vehicle will come to a stop on the shoulder by itself. If the in-cabin technology matures further in the fully autonomous driving mode, the vehicle may serve as an ambulance that transports the passenger to the hospital emergency room.