JSAE 2022 in Yokohama: HMI, Monitoring Systems

New trends in technology development for estimation of driver condition



 The Automotive Engineering Exposition 2022 (May 25-27, 2022), held on sunny days at the Pacifico Yokohama convention and exhibition center, was the first real auto industry exhibition to be held in a long time and was a great success.

 Regarding HMI (human-machine interface), there were a few exhibitions of eye-catching flashy concept models and magical future technologies, but there were also many serious new technologies on display, such as those that improve safety by estimating the driver's condition. Several new technologies for information display devices were also exhibited.

人とクルマのテクノロジー展 人とクルマのテクノロジー展
Kyocera's demonstration of road and vehicle coordination system Yazaki's HMI integrated control unit

 Tokai Rika Co., Ltd. exhibited a concept model of a cockpit that summarizes new HMI technology, and had a large presence in the exhibition hall. One was reminded that such a concept model of the entire cockpit is useful in the sense that it allows us to imagine new customer benefits by combining multiple existing technologies.

 Two types of driver condition estimation systems were exhibited: one that uses a camera installed in front of the driver to measure and analyze the driver's gaze, eye opening and closing, head orientation, and other conditions (ams-OSRAM AG, Yazaki Corporation, Mazda Motor Corporation); and the other that uses contact sensors on the steering wheel and seats to measure and analyze heartbeat and other biometric data (Tokai Rika Co., Ltd., Toyota Boshoku Corporation, Sumitomo Riko Co. Ltd.). The former is designed to be integrated into a vehicle, while the latter is designed to be retrofitted and linked to a smartphone.

 The reason why many of these driver condition estimation technologies have been announced is that it is becoming increasingly important to respond to future autonomous driving technologies and to respond to accidents caused by driver overwork in recent years in the field of logistics. The latter is largely influenced by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's support* for new technologies to enable trip managers to manage driver overwork and drowsiness. All the companies emphasized that they were collaborating with research institutes in the development of these technologies. With the trend of work style reforms in society as a whole, the development of such driver status estimation technology is expected to become increasingly active in the future.

  (Reference) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Support for advanced efforts to prevent traffic accidents by carriers, etc. (https://www.mlit.go.jp/report/press/jidosha07_hh_000380.html)

 In addition, as the amount of information to be displayed increases, there were displays of innovations such as "making the LCD display look three-dimensional," "displaying at a distance" (Yazaki), and "integrating the display" (Nissan), as well as technology to miniaturize the HUD (Head Up Display) by using holograms (Covestro AG).

 Other HMI-related technologies that stood out included a technology by Tokai Rika that illuminates switches through wood grain, completely hiding them when turned off, and a technology by Kyocera Corporation that projects the view onto the A-pillars of a truck to reduce visibility obstructions. Also of note is the seat technology of NHK Spring Co., Ltd. (NHK Nippatsu), and although it is not an HMI itself, it reduces car sickness in the sense of supporting people who use the HMI. As the recent sophistication of HMI has made the development of software and hardware integration extremely complex, there was also an exhibit on design solutions and development support (Candera Japan, Inc.).


Related reports: 
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HMI for Automobiles in the New Normal Era - CEATEC 2021 Online Exhibition (Dec. 2021)
Automotive Interiors Expo 2021 Europe (Dec.2021)
Car HMI Europe 2021: UX enhanced design for the latest Interface (Sep. 2021)
Car HMI Europe 2021: Latest User Interface technologies (Sep. 2021)
Car HMI Europe 2021: Devices, Software and R&D Services for UX and V2X Strategy (Sep. 2021)

2022 JSAE Automotive Engineering Exposition reports: 
JSAE 2022 in Yokohama: Electric Powertrain (Jun. 2022)
JSAE 2022 in Yokohama: EVs and Batteries (Jun. 2022)
JSAE 2022 in Yokohama: EV Components, Weight Reduction, Bioplastics (Jun. 2022)