The interesting thing is, the company is being coy about who it's supplying the system to.
Magna International, the massive Ontario-based auto parts supplier, has announced the creation of an in-car video-based child-monitoring system. In other words, the company has made it possible for parents to use cameras to see what their children are doing in the back seats of vehicles. The interesting thing is, the company is being coy about who it's supplying the system to.
In a press release this week, the company said that "the system recently debuted on a new minivan at the 2017 North American International Auto Show." There's currently only a handful of new minivans being sold in Canada and U.S. in the first place, so it's not difficult to narrow down the possible nameplates Magna is referring to. Making things even more clear, the new Honda Odyssey was shown with new CabinWatch technology, which employs a camera that allows the front seat occupants to view passengers in the rear seats via the vehicle's centre console screen.
Although neither Magna nor Honda has specified whether they've come to an agreement on the exclusive use of the technology - or whether they're even officially working together - we can certainly see this new camera functionality being used on virtually every vehicle with rear seats. It is admittedly more difficult keeping track of passengers in models with three rows, and Magna says the infrared LED light the system employs makes for a clear view, even in dark conditions.
"With today's drivers facing more distractions than ever, our goal is to continue to develop new driver-assistance features to enhance vehicle functionality, improve safety and provide peace of mind," said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna's Chief Technology Officer and President of Magna Electronics.
On a more personal note, my family (complete with six kids) grew up being driven around in different generation Dodge Grand Caravans. I clearly remember a very scary moment when I was much younger involving my sister - who was sitting in the third row - as she began choking on a piece of candy. It was extremely lucky that my mother heard her when my sister began choking, as my father was able to pull over and remove the candy. It's technology like Magna's that could help a family in a similar situation.