The use of radar in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including adaptive cruise control (ACC), automatic emergency braking (AEB), pedestrian and cyclist detection and more has been widespread for many years. In these external vehicle applications, radar detects the speed and range of objects in the vicinity of the vehicle and typically operates at 77 GHz. Instead of an external application, sensor maker IEE S. A. has developed 60-64 GHz radar technology for unattended child detection. The company recently became the first sensor supplier to have its system, called VitaSense, granted authorization for operation of the technology in Canada and the United States. It has been implemented in other regions but will arrive in North America when the Genesis GV70 premium SUV is introduced in the summer of 2021.
Discriminating between a living being and an inanimate object, the 60-64 GHz radar system can detect even the slightest breathing movement from new-born babies to adults and provide a warning that can include flashing lights, sounds, smart phone messages and more. Such a warning can prevent heatstroke that can occur when a child is inadvertently left in a hot vehicle. The unit’s housing is small enough to mount behind the vehicle’s headliner providing minimal intrusion into the interior design.
Designed to address proposed legislation or rules in the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) incentives foreseen for 2023 and the US Hot Cars Act of 2019, the system uses radar instead of a camera providing greater privacy protection to users.