Need for an efficient in-vehicle child occupancy detection system
According to KidsAndCars.org, over 940 children have died in hot cars since 1990 in the United State alone because the temperature inside a car rapidly rises regardless the outside temperature. This is because of the greenhouse effect - the heat is absorbed inside the car, but the glass window traps the heat from escaping. Also, the temperature inside a car can rise regardless the ambient temperature and there have been hot car heatstroke accidents reported from the USA in winter too. In principal, it is globally recommended to never to leave a child unattended inside a car.
However according to the Heatstroke Deaths of Children in Vehicles, Jan Null, San Jose State University 54% of child died because they were forgotten by their care giver. So there is growing needs for a technology that can prevent children dying from a hot a car by efficiently detecting their presence and alarms the parents or by-standers if any child is left unattended inside a car.
European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) has announced in their 2025 roadmap, that it will start to award rating points for car manufacturers that offer technological solution that monitors a child’s presence in the vehicle and alert the car owner or emergency services as standard in 2022.
In the USA, Hot Cars Act passed in U.S house of representative and now on to the senate and if it become the law, the car makers will be mandated to provide an alert system that can detect presence of an occupant when the vehicle engine is turned off.
Therefore, OEMs will be offering child presence detection system as a standard feature.
Introducing in-vehicle sensing technology
With 60GHz mmWave radar technology, bitsensing has developed mini ROA, an automotive quality high resolution in-vehicle sensing system that can reliably detect children (and pets) left inside cars for efficient warning system by sophisticated algorithm analysis of movement and breathing. It can reliably detect occupants even when they are sleeping, under blankets or other obstructions. mini ROA also can detect apnea which can further enhance safety of a young passenger.
Positional asphyxia can happen in sitting devices including the car seats if a baby can't get enough air to breathe (e.g. due to head-down tilted position.) and if difficulty in breathing or apnea can be detected as early as possible it will prevent accident.
- Child and pet presence detection
- Child’s apnea detection
- Seat belt reminder
- Driver breathing status monitoring
But why radar sensor?
There are various sensing techniques to detect a child’s presence and occupancy inside a car. Camera would be one of the most common approach. Despite its high-resolution capabilities there are few disadvantages such as privacy issue or it can’t see through target beyond an object as blanket. Ultrasonic sensor can also be used but they are not perfect for in-cabin child monitoring system because they cannot detect micro motion and can usually detect only one target. This means if a child is asleep, it might not be able to detect child’s presence when vehicle engine is turned off. Infrared and Weight sensors also cannot distinguish luggage and child thus will create high false alarm issue.
For an in-car child presence monitoring system to be effective, it needs to be highly accurate to avoid false alarms. If there are too many false alarms, users will not take alarms seriously making it not efficient as it should be. With our advanced target detection performance mini ROA can provide multi passenger detection with low false alarm.
To see a demo video please click here