Press release, 19th January 2021
We’ve been pioneering the in-cabin automotive sensing solutions industry for almost 30 years, focusing on occupant detection and classification to enhance passenger safety. Today, IEE is ready to address Child Presence Detection and releases VitaSense, a highly accurate radar sensor system capable of detecting the vital signs of a new-born baby and help prevent tragic hot car deaths.
“VitaSense is the world’s first interior radar sensing solution for Unattended Child Detection (UCD) in vehicles and is likely to become a landmark product for our company,” says Alain Schumacher, Chief Technology Officer at IEE. “Firstly, we identified the problem of children left unattended in vehicles, exposed to heatstroke risk. In the United States alone, 39 children die of vehicular heatstroke on average each year. With our experience in intelligent sensor solutions, we were eager to develop a product capable to “spot” these children, who are frequently sleeping infants, to enable the triggering of saving measures.
We have conducted extensive research and tests together with universities and medical specialists. We monitored, analyzed and simulated a wealth of data coming from real-life breathing patterns, from new-born babies to adults. Thanks to our know-how, VitaSense has the necessary capabilities to detect children, even when they sleep, and when they lie beneath a blanket. We are very proud of our field work that helped us develop a high-accuracy, reliable sensor which contributes to saving lives.”
VitaSense is a small sensing unit that can easily be integrated behind the vehicle’s headliner without altering the interior design. When an unattended child is detected, the vehicle’s alarm and communications systems can alert caretakers or passers-by that a child is still present in the car. Various warnings can be triggered depending on the vehicle’s capabilities: flashing lights, sounds, smart phone messages, etc. As it is based on radar technology, VitaSense is fully respecting your privacy, as no camera is used.
What makes VitaSense a ground-breaking, one-of-a-kind product is its unique mix of advanced sensing technology with innovative algorithms, in combination with easy implementation for the vehicle manufacturer. Fatal in-vehicle heatstroke accidents involving children is a global issue which has lately been receiving increasing attention.
“With Euro NCAP incentives starting 2023 as well as the US Hot Cars Act on the political agenda, aiming at heatstroke prevention for Unattended Children, we know that VitaSense can become a product of choice for the world’s vehicle manufacturers. This is IEE’s first radar product which is part of a family of future applications,” says Alexander Treis, Business Development Manager at IEE.
VitaSense is currently in mass production and the Genesis GV70 is the first vehicle equipped with this novel sensing solution as an option. Genesis is a premium brand of the Hyundai Motor Group.