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Truth & Consequences

DMS: The Experts' View

At CES 2022 this week, driver monitoring systems (DMS) are adding a wrinkle to the escalating ADAS/AV SoC race. Options of embedding DMS are many. The question is where and how DMS will land in a vehicle.
The DMS Embedding Challenge
The DMS Embedding Challenge

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The DMS Embedding Challenge

By Timothy Edwards, co-founder, strategic advisor and former CTO; Rodney Stewart, strategic advisor and former chief engineer; Alif Wahid, Ph.D., senior staff core technology architect at Seeing Machines


The automotive electronics market is characterised by high volume, high reliability and a supply chain that is in the ruthless pursuit of driving costs down. Any electronics that makes its way into a vehicle platform of even the most modest volumes, no matter the end user or the function, will have been custom designed, with a focus on cost optimization of the software and hardware components while still maximising performance and ensuring safety. This is the automotive embedding challenge.

High Performance Embedding is a technical discipline that Seeing Machines takes as seriously as algorithms or optics and we recognize it as the key to product scalability. After all, having industry-best algorithms and optical solutions means little if the ability to execute those algorithms comes at a prohibitive cost.

It was five to six years ago that camera based Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) first entered into the common lexicon within automotive circles. By industry timelines, where programs typically take three or more years to execute, this is akin to the blink of an eye. With these timescales in mind, we highlight how suboptimal SoC products (that also take multiple years to develop) have been attempting to serve the DMS market with designs that have not benefited from the foresight and detailed knowledge of how DMS and (more recently) OMS (Occupant Monitoring Systems) solutions need to work.

In this paper, we reflect on some of the challenges that we have faced in the embedding discipline, and discuss our strategic approach (including our motivation and approach) to our Occula NPU design. 

To continue to read the whole white paper, please download the PDF below.

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