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Facial-recognition technology for Chrysler


In a car-sharing economy, how does a vehicle recognize which motorist is in the driver’s seat?

Judging by Chrysler’s Portal electric minivan concept, the answer may be facial recognition.

Chrysler’s Portal concept has facial-recognition software that developer Panasonic Automotive says is robust enough to recognize motorists even if they get a new haircut or wear glasses.


The Portal, which debuted this month at the CES technology expo here, featured a camera behind the steering wheel that scans the motorist’s face.

After the initial scan, the vehicle would maintain a profile that includes the motorist’s favorite radio stations, seat position, address book, calendar, etc.

Panasonic Automotive developed the system with Sensory Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif., company that supplies facial- and voice-recognition software for mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

“The technology has been proven out in millions of Android phones,” said Don Turner, Panasonic Automotive’s associate director of advanced engineering. “Fiat Chrysler is evaluating it, and we are showing pieces of this solution to other automakers.”
Chrysler Portal

If the motorist chooses, he or she would sit in the driver’s seat for an initial scan, then fill out a profile displayed on the center console.

The system would store the driver’s profile in the cloud. For subsequent trips, an exterior camera positioned over the B-pillar would identify the driver walking to the vehicle and adjust the seat, radio and preferred climate control before the driver is seated.

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