Toronto, Ontario — A new patent from General Motors is designed to detect violence inside the vehicle cabin.
Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and published on December 28, 2023, the patent specifically describes a camera-based system for detecting violence inside the cabin of a vehicle using a standard camera to capture motion images of at least one vehicle occupant.
The camera system is intended to provide an output of a standard vehicle region of interest (ROI) signal and an event ROI signal which are then sent to a threat evaluation module which works to differentiate between normal events and threat events.
The patent indicates that the technology could be beneficial for ride sharing and ride hailing services as well as shared autonomous vehicles like Cruise Origin.
The exact method by which the system will distinguish a violent event from a non-violent event is yet to be clearly determined. However, the patent does mention the potential detection of threatening objects such as weapons as a visual indicator.
The patent also mentions a “cloud-based system” that provides a database of information including areas of travel where violence occurred in the past and a record of “normal” passenger behaviour versus threatening behaviour.
As always, there is no guarantee that this technology will ever make it to the consumer stage, but, with increased efforts to develop autonomous systems, the patent does prepare for a potential future outcome.
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