EyeSight, a computer vision company, said it had closed a $US15m funding round to drive the expansion of its in-cabin vehicle AI computer vision system.

The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), which awards safety stars to car models, will require new car models to have Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS ) by 2020. Cars released after this point without DMS won’t be awarded a top five-star safety rating. DMS is even more important for semi-autonomous vehicles, which have some self-driving features. The autonomous system must be sure that a driver is alert and awake before it hands over control of a moving car to a human.

EyeSight monitors a driver’s gaze direction, pupil dilation, eye openness and head position and uses proprietary algorithms to detect levels of drowsiness and distraction. Its advanced algorithms can run on low-power embedded systems, significantly reducing the total cost of ownership of the system.

As well as driver monitoring, EyeSight will also scan the entire cabin of a car. The technology will also detect children, helping ensure that babies aren’t forgotten in locked cars. This is a feature that Euro NCAP will require by 2022.

An EyeSight-powered system can detect and identify drivers and occupants, automatically adjusting the driver’s seat and mirrors  and selecting their music playlist.

EyeSight has partnerships with automobile manufacturers and has won four design awards with Tier-1 suppliers which will integrate its technology into new vehicles.