Full-cabin monitoring may help prevent 'hot car' deaths

The sensor represents a breakthrough safety solution.
The sensor represents a breakthrough safety solution.PHOTO: BLOG.VAYYAR.COM

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - Vayyar, a global leader in 4D imaging radar, has developed the world's first automotive sensor that covers the entire cabin of any passenger vehicle with a single Radar-on-Chip (RoC), according to a company statement.

Given the 60 per cent spike in global consumer demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) over the past five years, Vayyar's production-ready in-car sensor is designed to cover up to three rows.

It is also designed to accommodate the rapidly growing number of cars with sunroofs, thanks to uniform rear ceiling installation.

Monitoring each seat, all footwells and the open trunk area, the sensor represents a breakthrough safety solution, protecting the most vulnerable vehicle occupants.

Up to 200 children die each year from vehicular heatstroke after being left unattended in cars. These tragedies can occur in minutes since on days as cool as 22 deg C, the inside of a car, especially one equipped with a sunroof, can quickly reach 47 deg C.

"With SUVs making up over 40 per cent of vehicle sales in many countries, complete cabin coverage is crucial," says Mr Ian Podkamien, vice-president and head of automotive at Vayyar.

"Three-row Child Presence Detection (CPD) solutions for all vehicles, including those with sunroofs, will help prevent 'hot car' incidents, while enhanced Seat Belt Reminder (SBR) will save thousands more lives by ensuring that all passengers wear seat belts. And with just one affordable sensor for both functions, high-end safety is now available to all vehicles."

Vayyar's full-cabin sensor is fully operational in all lighting and weather conditions and maintains privacy at all times, since no cameras are involved.

The ultra-wide field of view and high resolution provided by the 48 transceivers in each Vayyar sensor are unmatched in the industry, enabling the platform to support multiple advanced applications simultaneously, while replacing numerous single-function sensors.

Given the cabin size of SUVs and that parents of young children comprise the majority of SUV owners, three-row coverage is a critical aspect of in-car sensing.

Alternative solutions require two to three single-function sensors to cover the entire cabin of an SUV, driving up the cost and effort associated with providing safety in larger vehicles.

Until now, vehicles with sunroofs have also presented unique challenges in terms of in-cabin sensor positioning. With no option of fitting a sensor in the centre of the ceiling, manufacturers had to make do with sub-optimal installation options.

Now original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can install just one Vayyar sensor in the rear ceiling area, covering the entire interior of any passenger vehicle, with or without a sunroof.

Vayyar offers OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers a flagship CPD and enhanced SBR combo, essential for meeting Euro NCAP's more stringent 2023 and 2025 safety scoring protocols. The platform does so by detecting occupants, classifying children and adults, and detecting posture and position.

The robust, automotive-grade solution also goes beyond just CPD and SBR. Addressing the most challenging Euro NCAP safety requirements, Vayyar's platform provides vehicles up to 10 in-cabin points for 2023 onwards.

By providing multi-functionality on a single-chip platform, the company enables automakers to move past the one sensor a function legacy industry approach.

Uneconomical and unsustainable, this has traditionally burdened vehicles with more wiring, hardware, software, SOP programs and integration efforts, at significant extra cost.

Instead, one sensor supports a wide range of safety applications, significantly reducing both complexity and costs.

A data-rich 4D Point Cloud Application Programming Interface provided by Vayyar's platform enables customers to independently develop and deploy numerous additional safety features over its point cloud layer. These may include optimised airbag deployment and dynamic disabling, seat belt pre-tensioning, gesture recognition, out-of-position detection, intruder detection and other applications.

The platform also supports over-the-air software updates, allowing carmakers to scale to new features long after a vehicle has left the production line. This provides significant added value by reducing development risks and time to market, yielding substantial cost savings.

"With a similar price point to an alternative radar sensor, or a standard Electronic Control Units, Vayyar's affordable technology is driving a paradigm shift that's enabling economy vehicles to feature the exceptional safety offered by high-end models," says Mr Podkamien.

"In SUVs, safety is particularly challenging because of the complexity required to support their larger cabin area.

"Multi-functionality on a single-chip platform is instrumental in providing enhanced safety without additional hardware, reducing complexity and saving the cost of multiple sensors a seat."