Subaru's latest Driver Monitoring System
Yes, it tracks your eyes!
Published on 05 Feb 2022
Japanese car maker Subaru has developed a spellbinding innovation: the Driver Monitoring System [DMS] that virtually looks over your shoulder like a pesky Big Brother! This DMS uses a camera and infrared LED discretely mounted on top of the central information display, yes, watching your eyes and head movements for signs of distractions or drowsiness. The use of infrared in the system means, it shouldn’t be prevented from doing its job even if you’re wearing sunglasses on a sunny day.
Fancy this: even before you get out on the road, the car is already using facial-recognition technology. In fact the car can store up to five driver profiles and as soon as it recognizes you, it automatically sets the climate control, electric seat position and mirror angle to match the last time you drove. That’s a huge relief as there is no need to re-set all that yourself, manually!
Of course one needs to set up a profile: type in your name, give yourself a picture icon and let it scan your face by looking straight ahead until you hear a beep that tells you your profile has been stored – absolutely incredible you might say! But Subaru has all that sewn up!
So once you’d register yourself to the Test Car, a DMS-equipped Subaru Forester e-Boxer, it quickly and reliably recognizes you, every time you get in.
Let’s hear it from the Test Driver himself: “During my time in the Subaru Forster e-Boxer, I tried to catch it out in various different ways, and it proved repeatedly that it really does know when your eyes are off the road.”!
Furthermore, if one looks away from the straight –ahead for more than a few seconds, a flashing orange box in the instrument cluster’s screen reminds you to keep your eyes on the road! Seriously, how can one argue with ‘that’! Yet like an over-zealous school matron it prods you to get back to the serious business of looking straight ahead when driving even if one does nothing more deadly than scratching your head, without your hand obscuring your sight! So this incredible DMS thing can be a bit of a pain at times! Oh Well! Nothing is perfect, isn’t it?
Continuing, if your eyes drop from tiredness, or if you
were to illegally look down at your phone while at the wheel, the car will mute
the audio and a louder, more shrill beep will be played, with a red,
half-closed eye-symbol and a message to ‘Stay
Well is this DMS necessary? Of course it is! Remember: as drivers it is our business to be as focused and undistracted as possible, for our own safety and everyone else’s in backdrop of the horrendous fatal accidents we hear of globally – quite a few being due to driver fatigue and other distractions whilst at the wheel, period! So when driving tired, DMS is a watchful aid to make sure you’re not drifting off at the wheel and God forbid, the road edge over a cliff!