Gentex Corp. announced Tuesday that it will launch several new automotive technologies, including a unique three-camera rear vision system that streams rear video – in multiple composite views – to a rearview-mirror-integrated display. The company will also demonstrate a biometric system that authenticates the driver and delivers custom vehicle security and convenience features, as well as an upgrade to its HomeLink wireless control system that utilizes wireless cloud-based connectivity to deliver complete vehicle-to-home automation.
Gentex’s new camera monitoring system (CMS) uses three cameras to provide a comprehensive view of the sides and rear of the vehicle. The side-view cameras are discretely housed in reduced-sized, exterior mirrors. Their video feeds are combined with that of a roof-mounted camera and stitched together into multiple composite views that are streamed to the driver via a unique mirror-integrated display.
“We believe this technology combination is the industry’s first practical CMS solution,” said Steve Downing, senior vice president at Gentex. “The system realizes the rearward field-of-view benefits afforded by cameras, while the downsized exterior mirrors provide generous weight and fuel-efficiency improvements. They also provide a failsafe view should weather or system failure impede the digital view.”
Gentex is also launching a new biometrics system that authenticates the driver and delivers customized security, comfort and convenience features. When the driver enters the vehicle, the mirror-integrated biometric system would identify the driver, and, if authorized, start the car and personalize setup by automatically adjusting mirrors, steering wheel, seat, music favorites, GPS locations, etc. The system would also provide added security for home automation services and vehicle transactions.
“This type of system would be perfect for new and evolving mobility solutions, such as car sharing programs,” said Downing. “The biometric system would identify the driver, authorize vehicle use and allocate payment, including incidentals like tolls and parking, and eventually even gas and fast food.”
Gentex’s HomeLink is widely used and trusted car-to-home automation system, with an estimated 50 million units on the road. The system consists of three in-vehicle buttons that can be programmed to operate garage doors, security gates, home lighting, and other radio-frequency-controlled (RF) devices.
At CES, Gentex will demonstrate the next generation of HomeLink, which uses both RF and wireless cloud-based connectivity to deliver complete vehicle-to-home automation.
With next-generation HomeLink, a HomeLink button press communicates with an app on the user’s cell phone via Bluetooth Low Energy. The app contains pre-defined, user-programmed actions, from single device operations to entire home automation scenes.
The app, in turn, communicates to the home’s smart hub over the cloud server network and activates the appropriate devices, including security systems, door locks, thermostats, lighting, and other home automation devices.
“It’s comprehensive vehicle-to-home automation made easy,” said Downing. “For the driver, it delivers the ability to prepare the home for arrival or departure with one button press. For the automaker, it allows them to offer a customizable yet proven solution without the engineering effort or security concerns associated with integrating the software into the vehicle’s computer network.”
Gentex’s new biometric technology can also be used in conjunction with HomeLink to provide added security and convenience for multiple drivers by activating the unique home automation presets of different authorized users.