|Hyundai Mobis engineers test the company's ultrasonic sensor-based rear occupant alert system in this undated file photo. Courtesy of Hyundai Mobis|
By Nam Hyun-woo
Hyundai Mobis said Sunday it has developed a radar-based rear occupant alert system and will introduce it in a number of global carmakers' new vehicles..
The rear occupant alert system is aimed at reminding the driver to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle. Existing rear occupant alert systems mostly use ultrasonic or weight sensors, but the Hyundai Motor Group unit said it used radar sensors to detect rear passengers which improved accuracy.
The company said its system can capture minimal bio signals of passengers' even through cloths, thus overcoming the limit of existing sensors which could not detect infants covered in a blanket. The system recognizes adults, children and pets, the company added.
If passengers are detected when the driver closes the door to exit, Hyundai Mobis' system sounds an alarm or sends an alert messages on the center instrument cluster display or the driver's smartphone.
Hyundai Mobis said the technology is not commercially released yet and it will enhance the system's biometric features and come up with a way to measure the heart rate of passengers by the end of this year.
The development comes amid heightening regulations in advanced markets as the number of accidents related to children being left unattended in vehicles grows.
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 50 children die from being left unattended in hot vehicles every year. In Europe, rear occupant alert systems will be mandatory in all new vehicles from 2022.
In the wake of self-driving cars, global auto parts companies are striving to develop in-cabin sensor technologies to provide more convenience and safety features, as drivers play a gradually diminishing role in actually driving the vehicle.
According to a McKinsey & Company report, the global vehicle radar market will grow to $14 billion in 2030 from $4 billion this year, with the in-cabin sensor market likely to show 7 percent growth annually.
Last year, Hyundai Mobis developed a camera-based driver state warning system, which detects drowsy driving or a lack of attention at the wheel. The company said it will come up with sensor fusion technology combining data from radar and cameras in the near future.
"Hyundai Mobis is concentrating its efforts on developing in-cabin sensor technologies for passenger safety," a Hyundai Mobis official said. "In the near future, we will roll out adaptive airbags reflecting passengers' position and shape and in-vehicle healthcare technologies measuring drivers' and passengers' heart rate to cope with emergency situations."