A new auto seat measures heart, respiration rates of driver

New Japan Radio Co Ltd haas developed a prototyped auto seat that measures the heart rate and respiration rate of the driver with a microwave sensor using the 24GHz frequency band.

The seat is expected to be used for detecting a bad health condition and drowsiness of the driver. New Japan Radio, which deals with semiconductor chips, sensor modules for communication, etc, expects to commercialize the microwave sensor by 2020.

Currently, the expected price of the sensor is about several thousand yen. It will be sold together with special software.

The detector attached to the seat consists of small sensors measuring approximately 25 x 25mm each.

“It uses the Doppler effect and uses microwaves emitted by the sensor to detect frequency changes caused by human movements,” JRC said.

Measured data is processed and sorted into heart and respiration rates per minute.

For commercialization, it is necessary to improve the measurement performance of the sensor. When there are multiple people around the sensor, frequency changes are often caused, making it difficult to accurately collect data. It is not possible to check the states of all the passengers with one sensor.

The prototyped seat exhibited by JRC has the sensor on the rear side of its backrest. But the company is considering installing it in an interior component other than the seat.

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