Eyeris' emotion recognition AI technology: Adopted for Toyota Concept-i

Extract from TU Automotive Japan 2017



Driver monitoring is particularly important when transitioning between different levels of autonomous driving. (Source: Eyeris)

The TU-Automotive Japan 2017 event was held in Tokyo in October 2017. This report gives an outline of the symposium lecture given by the founder and CEO of Eyeris, Mr. Modal Alaoui, entitled "Human Behavior Understanding AI inside Autonomous & Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs)".

Eyeris was founded in 2013 to develop its EmoVu deep learning-based emotion recognition software that reads facial micro-expressions. The human machine interaction (HMI) performance of a vehicle is greatly improved by integrating the EmoVu software with the cameras embedded into a vehicle to monitor a driver’s emotions and state of alertness.
Note: Eyeris uses the above expression “human machine interaction” for the acronym HMI, which is commonly referred to as “human machine interface”.

EmoVu plays an active role in scenarios such as the following:

  1. During autonomous driving at the SAE 2 to 4 Levels of automation, there will be transitions from automated to manual operation and vice versa. When switching from autonomous mode to manual operation, it is necessary to verify whether the driver is able to operate the vehicle safely. Conversely, when the system determines that the driver is distracted to the point of being unable to operate the vehicle safely, the system can switch to automated driving mode and take control of the vehicle.
  2. Improving the in-vehicle ambient intelligence (AmI) of highly automated vehicles: In fully automated driving, the system is in complete control of the vehicle and a human is no longer required to drive the vehicle, so a vehicle’s occupants will be free to engage in other activities such as reading, working, and sleeping. According to Mr. Alaoui, since cars are becoming more of a commodity, it will become increasingly important to improve the productivity and comfort of the vehicle’s interior cabin area. In this respect, EmoVu contributes to understanding the occupant environment to improve the in-vehicle driving experience.

In addition to being adopted for Toyota Concept-i vehicles, EmoVu is being adopted or evaluated for adoption by a number of OEMs such as Honda. Toyota's MOBILITY TEAMMATE CONCEPT is aimed at developing advanced autonomous driving technologies where humans and cars cooperate with one another. To that aim, it seems that Toyota considers EmoVu as one of the most important elements for constructing a highly integrated HMI architecture.

Related reports:
Toyota's autonomous driving (2): Striving for "trillion-mile reliability"(March 2017)
Toyota's autonomous driving (1): More sophisticated ADAS and fully autonomous driving  (February 2017)



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