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Why do cars look at their drivers?


Contactless interaction between driver and vehicle: Driver monitoring ensures increased driving safety, comfort, and individuality.

Something is happening in human-machine interaction: Are switches, buttons, and even touchpads soon going to disappear from cars? New technologies are making increased use of contactless operation of systems and functions such as cruise control, air-conditioning, navigation or infotainment.

This means that camera-based systems transform gestures, head position and eye movements into control commands, and control the flow of information in interconnected vehicles.

Continental Engineering Services is already creating tailored developments for driver monitoring systems in small series, niche, and special vehicles. By also taking into consideration data about the environment and vehicle, they facilitate a wide range of customization options, additional driving comfort, and increased driving safety.


Depending on requirements, the camera system can be integrated into the steering wheel, instrument cluster, or center console. It recognizes the driver and, following authentication, automatically initiates preferred comfort settings such as personal radio station selection, the position of the steering wheel, settings for the seat, restraint systems or temperature.

In addition to increased individualization, driver monitoring mainly ensures greater driving safety.

For automated driving, it determines the driver's ability to control the vehicle independently. This is a pre-requisite for safe handover scenarios between driver and vehicle.

For this purpose, the camera-based system monitors the driver's activity, emotional condition and state of health. To this end, intelligent algorithms evaluate the driver's head position, eye movements and the opening of the eyes. If the driver is distracted, tired, or looks likely to nod off, the system sends a warning signal, and thus re-directs attention to the road or recommends taking a break.

It goes beyond mere warning functions when the driver monitoring system communicates with driver assistance systems, and also incorporates vehicle and environment data into concrete decisions on what actions to take. In critical situations, the driver is prepared for the advanced driver assistance system's reaction in good time and is protected by means of customized measures (e.g. adaptive variable airbag triggering).


Functions and properties

  • Face recognition
  • Recording head position and eye movements in space
  • Fatigue detection
  • Alertness monitoring

Your advantages

  • Monitoring the driver and issuing a warning of inattention
  • Less driver distraction, and a reduction of stress
  • Additional protection strategies through interaction with driver assistance functions
  • More convenient and intuitive HMI operation
  • Camera-based identity check for effective anti-theft protection
  • Independent of the ambient lighting conditions thanks to infrared technology
  • Definition of driver authorizations and customized settings (e.g. limiting engine power)

Product required for this function:

Interior driver monitoring camera







Do you now want to use driver monitoring for your application as well?

Continental Engineering Services adapts established large-scale production technology to your individual requirements. As the customer, you define which features are to be implemented for your application, Continental Engineering Services develops the required modules and the associated electronic control units. Your small series application will benefit from the transfer of expertise from large-scale development at Continental.

The areas of application for driver monitoring systems are wide-ranging. In addition to the automotive industry, this technology is also used in industrial applications such as the aviation sector, railway engineering, medical technology, and in the agricultural and construction machinery sector.
To achieve this, we adapt the software used in the large-scale automotive solution to your customers' special requirements, from creating configuration data for algorithms up to providing extrinsic data for a possible online calibration. We provide you with advice, and clarify the effects of installation suggestions on weight, function, and costs. We will build individual prototypes for you on request, or lend them to you. We will also look after the interaction between all involved systems and ensure smooth system integration. We conduct evaluations together with you, ensure initial commissioning of the test system, and support you up to the time of production approval.

We thus ensure successful implementation of the driver monitoring function in your particular application.

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