Driver monitoring was for a long time most considered by premium OEMs, in the process of integrating the latest technology on the market into new and high-end car models. Smart Eye has, however, been confident that driver monitoring one day would be as common as seatbelts and airbags. In high volume car productions as well as the relatively smaller premium car productions. Political development in the European Union and within the EURO NCAP has finally proven us to be right.
In Europe alone there are over one million car accidents every year and 35 000 of them result in casualties. Almost 40 percent of these are a result of a lack of attention from the driver. This means that they could have been avoided with a driver monitoring systems (DMS) implemented.
With the new regulations from EURO NCAP, and the passing of the EU road safety regulation Smart Eye will finally be able to implement our technology in the automotive industry on a much larger scale.
The automotive industry is very demanding, as it should be. Thankfully Smart Eye has already proven its ability to create durable, accurate and reliable technology for years now. And its capability to provide it in a cost-efficient way. We have always encouraged progressive and advanced safety systems and look to this development as a milestone in driver safety.
In 2019, EU decided on new legislation stating that starting in June 2022 all new cars put on the EU market, must be equipped with advanced safety systems. This includes, among others, driver drowsiness and attention warning, as well as advanced driver distraction warning. Meanwhile, similar regulations are being adapted in China.
In addition, EURO NCAP is adjusting their safety measuring systems where driver monitoring is required in order to receive a five-star rating. Euro NCAP is an effective and fast working way to reduce car related injuries and casualties on the roads of Europe. While legislation both nationally and in the European union can take years; Euro NCAP sets its own demands and creates incentives for OEMs to integrate safety systems without the presence of a law.
Previously, the industry has seen other ways in supporting driver attention, however a camera has been proven to provide the highest standard of accuracy. In order to meet these new demands from both the European Union and EURO NCAP a camera is required. In this field Smart Eye is world leading.
The specific technological requirements to meet these new safety regulations is still being developed. EURO NCAP tests new cars through different systems adapted for the safety features needed to reach the highest rating. How these test systems are formed is what will ultimately tell us what technology is needed to fulfill the requirements. With Smart Eye as one of the companies involved in actually assisting EURO NCAP in that process – the testing systems will partially be built on our technology. The testing systems will hopefully be finalized by the end of the year 2020.
EURO NCAP is not the only car assessment program in the world but have equivalents in both China and the US. Just like in any other industry they look to each other. In other words, EURO NCAP might be first, but will most certainly not be the last to adjust their requirements to match the technological advancement in the industry. Having the opportunity to be a part of this important starting point is a task that Smart Eye meet with both excitement and a feeling of utmost privilege.
The automotive industry is sensitive to the state of the market. As the world might enter a time of possible economic hardships as a result of the corona virus, we understand that there might be some concern. However, in 2019 over 15 million cars were sold on the European market. The impact these new laws and regulations will have on the driver monitoring industry is, to say the least, substantial. Even in times of a complex economic climate. This was not only manifested on March 19, in the midst of the corona crisis, when Smart Eye received its largest automotive order yet, and from new car manufacturers.
These major developments within the European Union is what Smart Eye has been working towards for 20 years. This also means that Smart Eye has been preparing for this since the start of the millennia. We have always been encouraging and developing towards progressive automotive safety measures. By 2025 we hope to be able to point to mass-produced cars all over the world where Smart Eye’s technology is saving lives.