Bosch has announced a new interior monitoring system featuring cameras and artificial intelligence which it hopes will improve driver and passenger safety.

The new technology is designed to help drivers avoid distraction, ‘microsleep’ and forgetting to buckle up while behind the wheel, the firm said.

“If the car knows what its driver and occupants are doing, driving will become safer and more convenient,” explained Harald Kroeger, member of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management.

The new Bosch system is set to launch in 2022, the same year that the EU introduces new tech-based safety features in all cars.

The EU Commission expects that by 2038 their new safety requirements for vehicles, which include a ‘drowsiness detector’, will save more than 25,000 lives and help prevent at least 140,000 severe injuries.

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Bosch’s system is being designed to detect and alert to drowsiness and provide driving assistance. A camera integrated into the steering wheel detects when drivers’ eyelids are getting heavy, when they are distracted and when they turn their head toward their passenger or the rear seats.

It is hoped that the introduction of AI into the system will help to draw the right conclusions from this camera information, and can recommend that drivers take a break and reduce the speed of the vehicle.

“Cameras and AI will turn the vehicle into a life-saver,” Kroeger continued.

“To achieve this, Bosch engineers have used intelligent image-processing algorithms and machine learning to teach the system to understand what the person in the driving seat is actually doing.

“To take the example of driver drowsiness, the system is trained using recordings of real driving situations and, on the basis of recordings of eyelid position and eye-blink rate, learns how tired the driver really is."

A second camera mounted above or below the rear-view mirror will also be used to monitor passengers. If there is a child in the back of the car with a buckled seatbelt, Bosch hopes the tech can alert the driver.

This could also work for adult passenger sitting with their feet up on the seat next to them, the firm said, avoiding a crash situation in which the passenger’s airbag would not protect them.

In this case, the system can set the airbags and belt tensioner to ensure the best possible protection.