31 December 2018 · Article

How Does Subaru Facial Recognition Work?

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DriverFocus is a facial recognition-powered technology that has the ability to remember up to five different faces to remember preconfigured settings for optimal driver comfort and convenience.

Subaru is a company known for its technological innovation, whether you're talking about its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, its horizontally opposed Boxer engines or its new cutting-edge Subaru Global Platform. But when the company won a series of awards for its EyeSight Driver EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package, some were surprised. But Subaru's DriverFocus system, the first to feature patented facial recognition technology in an SUV, shows Subaru's clear commitment to industry-leading safety and modernization.

DriverFocus is a facial recognition-powered technology that has the ability to remember up to five different faces to remember preconfigured settings for optimal driver comfort and convenience. The DriverFocus technology uses infrared sensors to recognize who is in the driver's seat, and tailor the driving experience to how they would expect it. It can distinguish between different family members with advanced technology that measures the distance between nose, mouth and chin and its infra-red camera can even detect the correct face when wearing sunglasses.

DriverFocus can remember preferences for seat positioning, mirrors, temperature as well as radio stations. This is ideal if you and your partner have different preferences for climate controls, a height difference or simply different tastes in music. As soon as the driver gets into the seat, the DriverFocus technology picks the profile based on the facial recognition for a customized driving experience. It will even give you a personal greeting when you fasten up your seatbelt.

And while DriverFocus is certainly a boon for comfort and convenience, it's most important feature is to identify signs of driver fatigue and driver distraction. Because it knows your face and can predict major changes with the utmost accuracy, DriverFocus knows if you're showing signs of being tired or being distracted by your phone. It can also predict roadside distractions by monitoring the driver. For example, if you're looking away from the road for more than three seconds, the system will start beeping to get your attention. If it continues to beep over and over without getting a driver response, the car will slowly stop.

In conjunction with EyeSight technology, Subaru says they aim to collision injuries in the United States by 1,000 injuries per day. With the safety package coming to Australia, complete with DriverFocus, it only makes sense to take full advantage of this revolutionary technology. The new DriverFocus technology comes standard on Touring models of the 2019 Forester, and we expect it will soon make its way to other Subaru models as well. 

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Distraction warning

DMS keeps a watchful eye over your gaze and your safety, by monitoring to see if your head is turned away from the road ahead. If the system detects that the driver is not looking at the road ahead, a buzzer and display warning will remind you to bring your focus back to the front, unless the turning signals indicate you are changing direction. When EyeSight® spots a vehicle in front of you, the distraction warning is made sooner to give you more time to react if necessary.

Drowsiness Warning

DMS tracks the driver’s eye activity to calculate two stages of tiredness - drowsy and extremely drowsy. If the driver is recognised as being extremely drowsy or dozing off, a visual and audible warning will alert them. If the vehicle is fitted with a factory fit Satellite Navigation system, the intelligent DMS will mute the audio, so the alert is always clearly heard.

Facial Recognition

When a registered driver gets behind the wheel and shuts the door, their face unlocks a range of pre-programmed features to make their trip comfortable. The Multi-Function Display (MFD) beams a welcome message and the seat and door mirrors slide into your preferred position. The settings you enjoyed on your last drive will be restored, from the climate control to MFD and MID content – including driver fuel consumption results. 

Convenience & Safety

The DMS will sound an alarm to tell both the driver, and any passengers, when it detects that the driver’s gaze is wandering or their eyes are displaying signs of drowsiness. Up to five drivers can jump into the driver’s seat, knowing that the DMS has a record of their cabin environment preferences. Once the camera recognises the driver’s face, a range of customised settings take over to adjust the drivers seat position and external mirror positions (models with power drivers seat), and to restore the last used climate control settings, instrument display and Multi-Function Display settings.