Hyundai Mobis sinks $5 million in Deep Glint

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Hyundai Mobis sinks $5 million in Deep Glint

Hyundai Mobis invested $5 million in Chinese computer vision start-up Deep Glint to develop car technologies such as a digital driver verification system and a virtual driving assistant, the auto parts maker said Wednesday.

Deep Glint specializes in recognizing and analyzing people’s faces and behavior patterns using artificial intelligence. According to Mobis, the start-up’s facial recognition system can recognize a specific face out of a billion people at 50 meters distance in less than a second.

The Hyundai affiliate hopes to use that technology for a more secure driver identification system to replace car keys. With such a system, drivers could simply approach their car and the doors would unlock. The engine could also be started.

Another potential use of Deep Glint’s technology is monitoring drivers’ behavior throughout a drive. By monitoring a driver’s facial emotions and eye movements, the car could determine whether a driver is nodding off to sleep. If the driver seems to be tired or sick, the car could take suitable measures, such as making a warning signal, to prevent accidents.

Going a step further, the technology could read drivers’ emotions and act as virtual assistants that can choose music or adjust the car’s lighting to change the mood, according to Mobis.

Self-driving and connected cars are big hopes for the auto industry, Mobis said, and it will continue aggressive investments in sensor, camera and battery cell companies to get key technologies in those fields by 2021. The company said it is also considering mergers and acquisitions.

Last year, the company invested roughly 8 billion won ($7.1 million) in another start-up, StradVision, which has technology to enhance object detection capabilities for self-driving cars.

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