Child Presence Detection
Saving Children's Lives with Artificial Intelligence
Summer brings swimming pool weather and lots of sunshine, which is cause for joy for many people, but it also harbors dangers. Every year, young children around the world die from heat-related causes because they are left unattended in parked vehicles. In the USA alone, where these cases have been recorded systematically for years, well over 900 young children have died this way since 1998. Most of them, nearly 85 percent, are four years old or younger. Tragic deaths of this kind also occur regularly in Europe and other parts of the world.
No heat records are necessary; even low outside temperatures of 14 degrees Celsius are enough to create critical situations for small children inside the vehicle. It is not without reason that the European New Car Assessment Programme (EU-RO NCAP) is planning binding specifications for improved interior protection for children in new vehicles.
UWB radar technology and artificial intelligence
measure and detect infant vital signs
The global mechatronics expert, Marquardt, is already one step ahead in this field. Led by communications tech-nology and innovation expert, Andreas Becher, from the company's own research and development department, a team has developed a system that reliably detects whether a child is in the vehicle. The system can recognize the vital signs of the occupants and accurately relay this information to the vehicle's electronics. By analyzing this data, the system can assess the occupant's state of health and, with the integration of additional sensor technolo-gy, even approximate their age. This breakthrough enables the triggering of emergency warnings when necessary, which can occur in several steps, depending on the vital information, and may ultimately involve forwarding the data to emergency services. In cases of emergencies, the system known as "Child Presence Detection" (CPD) automatically sends out warning signals at different escalation levels, up to alerting emergency services.
"We have been working intensively on a solution since 2021. The result is a functional prototype that has proven that our system works reliably and already meets the expected EURO NCAP requirements," explains Markus Kramer, Head of Innovation at Marquardt. "The next step is to enter series development together with the automotive industry."
Artificial Intelligence analyses movement patterns
In its CPD system, the mechatronics specialist uses high-performance radar sensor technology that operates on the basis of ultra-wideband (UWB) radiation. This technology is harmless to the health of the occupants. For the evaluation of the radar data, the Marquardt developers relied on software algorithms with artificial intelligence (AI). The UWB radar, whose sensors are located in each row of seats in a vehicle, determines whether there are moving objects in the passenger compartment by measuring the time of flight of the reflected signal. The AI, in the form of self-learning algorithms, is able to distinguish and assign the movement patterns detected by the radar.