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Ford Has Cars That Know Who You Are... or Aren't

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On: Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 10:48AM | By: Karen Cook

Ford Has Cars That Know Who You Are... or Aren't

Facial recognition is the new craze in automobile technology. Mercedes-Benz has a camera that can tell if the driver is getting drowsy and warn him to get some rest. Peugeot Citroen has one that can detect the emotions of the driver. Not sure what your car can do about your anger though.

Ford has entered the field with facial recognition that can provide all kinds of interesting perks. They have partnered with Intel to develop software, called “Project Mobii” for Mobile Interior Imaging, which can identify the owner of the car or other common drivers and adjust features based on the preferences of the individual. But that’s only the beginning.

The software improves privacy controls by sending a photo of the driver to the owner’s smart phone if it can’t identify him or her. This allows the owner to authorize the driver… or not. Parents can also use the system to enable or disable functions for teen drivers. Seat belt use can be mandated, speed limits can be set, volume can be limited on audio devices, and phone use can be restricted while driving. Some of those wouldn’t be amiss for older drivers too.

The camera can also be used for gesture recognition to open or close sunroofs and windows or turn on the climate control without touching a button. Other uses include giving owners the capability to check for things that might have been left in the car without having to make the trip. Just scan the interior for whatever might have been left behind.

Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s Research and Innovation chief technical officer and vice president, said in a statement that “the use of interior imaging is purely research at this point” but it doesn’t take much imagination to see where this kind of technology could lead. The future is definitely closer than it appears.


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