Driver monitoring systems (DMSs) can analyze driver behavior or detect patterns tending towards micro-sleep to issue appropriate warnings and help revive the driver’s focus. Several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have therefore adopted behavior-based DMS that employ frontal cameras, steering angle sensors, and sensors on the steering wheel.

However, the current generation of behavior-based sensors used in passenger vehicles is capable of harbouring only two to three functions at most. Many vehicle OEMs are therefore moving from behavior-based DMSs towards inward-looking camera-based systems.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Strategies for Driver Monitoring Systems in Europe, finds that the total DMS shipment in the passenger vehicle market was approximately 4.44 million units in 2014 and estimates this to reach 5.61 million by 2021.

“Due to the need to improve existing functions, while adding new ones to enhance the human-machine interface (HMI), OEMs are exploring vision-based sensors such as infrared mono or stereo cameras facing the driver,” says Frost & Sullivan intelligent mobility senior research analyst Anirudh Venkitaraman in a release. “With the aid of these products, OEMs are planning the introduction of functions such as gesture recognition, mood detection, eye monitoring, driver identification, and health monitoring.”

Deciding on the number of functions to provide within DMS and sharing the hardware cost across safety and HMI functions will prove vital for OEMs. It will also be worthwhile to offer a value justification for customers to invest in DMS-equipped vehicles with feature additions and partner with capable suppliers to develop cost-competitive solutions.

“For now, even though several tier-one suppliers possess a strong DMS sensor portfolio, vehicle OEMs’ approach to adoption has not been aggressive enough,” Venkitaraman says. “While certain OEMs offer DMS as a standard fitment in their vehicle line-up, many others look to extend this technology only as an option.”

Over time, vehicle OEMs will realize that adding more driver interactive features within DMS will enable them to pitch the technology not only as a safety enabler but also as one’s personal assistant while driving, Frost & Sullivan states. They will find that DMS has special importance in the context of semi and highly automated driving as well as manual driving.