News Column

Ford, Intel Offer Research Showing Details of Project on Mobile Interior Imaging

June 25, 2014

Paul Quintaro

As vehicles become an integral part of the Internet of Things, Ford and Intel

are researching new opportunities for the connected car, including giving

drivers the ability to remotely peer into their car using a smartphone, or a

vehicle that could identify its owner using facial recognition software.

The joint research project, called Mobile Interior Imaging, or Project Mobii,

explores how interior-facing cameras could be integrated with sensor

technology and data already generated within and around the vehicle to create

a more personalized and seamless interaction between driver and vehicle that

transforms the driving experience.

The Mobii research was a collaboration between Intel ethnographers,

anthropologists and engineers alongside Ford research engineers, and

incorporates perceptual computing technology to offer a more enjoyable and

intuitive vehicle experience.

“Our goal with the Mobii research is to explore how drivers interact with

technology in the car and how we can then make that interaction more intuitive

and predictive,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice

president, Ford Research and Innovation. “The use of interior imaging is

purely research at this point; however, the insights we've gained will help us

shape the customer experience in the long term.”

Ford now uses exterior vehicle cameras for driver-assist features such as

lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning. The Mobii research examines

new applications for interior cameras, including driver authentication. The

use of facial recognition software offers improved privacy controls, and

enables Project Mobii to identify different drivers and automatically adjust

features based on an individual's preferences.

“As a trusted technology leader and innovator, Intel understands the

challenges automakers are facing and is a committed partner in this

unprecedented opportunity,” said Doug Davis, vice president, Internet of

Things Group at Intel. “Project Mobii is a great example of Intel

collaborating with Ford to help enable a secure, more connected driving


Improved privacy and parental controls

Upon entering the vehicle, the driver is authenticated by Project Mobii

through a front-facing camera using facial recognition software. The in-car

experience is then personalized to display information specific to that

driver, such as calendar, music and contacts. If Project Mobii detects a

passenger in the car, a privacy mode activates to display only navigation.

If Project Mobii does not recognize the driver, a photo is sent to the primary

vehicle owner's smartphone. That owner can then set permissions and specify

features that should be enabled or disabled. If the driver is the child of the

vehicle owner, for example, restrictions could be automatically set to require

safety belt use and to limit speed, audio volume or mobile phone use while


Gesture recognition software enables intuitive interaction for the driver. A

combination of natural gestures and simple voice commands can simplify such

tasks as turning the heat up and down, or opening and closing a sunroof while


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Source: Benzinga Lightning Feed

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