Harman, which develops connected technologies and solutions for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has announced the introduction of 'Ready Care'. This is a set of solutions – Cognitive Distraction, Stress-Free Routing, and Personalised Comfort – that can work together or independently to improve safety and reduce driver stress.
Driver distraction is among the causes of fatal crashes the world over. Ready Care measures cognitive load for drivers in real-time, responding with tailored interventions to instances of distraction, drowsiness, or anxiety. Rooted in advanced safety, Ready Care offers OEMs a platform to deliver progressive security, routing, and comfort measures to customers/drivers. The experience is powered by newly developed machine learning algorithms, which gather and process data from in-vehicle cameras and sensors to monitor a driver’s state and generate customised in-vehicle cabin prompts to trigger a range of behavioural responses—increasing awareness, alleviating stress or inducing/stimulating ease and relief.
“Safety remains a top concern for consumers when considering a new vehicle purchase – and now, with Ready Care, OEMs can improve vehicle safety in a significant new way,” said Armin Prommersberger, Senior Vice-President, Automotive Product Management at HARMAN International. “Ready Care is essentially a co-pilot, spotting when distractions could turn into dangerous situations and intervening to avoid them. For the first time, the vehicle can know what the driver is thinking; this is a game-changer. We are incredibly proud of and excited by the impact Ready Care will have for drivers, passengers, and everyone on the road.”
Key features of Ready Care
Eyes and Mind on Road: Ready Care measures both driver eye activity and state of mind. An infra-red global shutter camera with active illumination surveys the driver’s face in low and high light environments to provide real-time data into facial expressions, eye gaze, eyelid openings and more. The Harman Cognitive Distraction feature – the industry’s only real-time driver visual and cognitive load measurement tool – deciphers when the driver is mentally distracted and can initiate multiple and simultaneous in-cabin vehicle intervention responses. It measures real-time driver cognitive load and separates driving tasks from mental as well as visual and manual distractions, enabling tailored intervention strategies to maximise safety.
Stress-free Routing: Compatible with multiple navigation engines, Ready Care provides an alternate route selection to lower the inevitable driver stress levels while on the road. Through detecting real-time stress factors like traffic jams or weather and adapting accordingly, this solution helps mitigate the driver’s state of stress.
Personalised Experiences: As all journeys and drivers are unique, Ready Care leverages advanced machine learning technology to provide personalised intervention strategies tailored to the individual and their driving experience. Ready Care delivers closed-loop interventions via an SDK, allowing OEMs and third parties to integrate any vehicle feature or function – such as HVAC control, media content and volume, or seat sensors – to become part of the intervention solution.
According to Harman, Ready Care equips OEMs with advanced but meaningful technology to improve driver safety and wellbeing. Automotive manufacturers also have the opportunity to incorporate the full set of Ready Care solutions into vehicles, or choose specific features to create a more customised solution right for their customers and fleets.