In The Future, Your GM Vehicle Might Know You By Your Face

Technology / 8 Comments

The "Modus Biometric System" could use biometric identification to ready itself for the driver.

A new trademark application from General Motors sheds some light on what could be a cutting-edge future comfort control system for cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Just a couple of weeks ago, records show, GM filed to trademark the name "Modus Biometric System" as it applies to "adaptive electronic vehicle comfort systems sold as an integral part of a motor land vehicle," suggesting that biometric identification could, in the future, be used to automatically recall driver comfort settings. Biometric identifiers include things that are unique to each person - things like your fingerprint, palm print, retina, facial structure, and DNA.

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Before you freak out, no, we don't imagine your next Chevrolet Traverse is going to need to draw your blood every time you get in the driver's seat. Instead, we imagine GM will use a palm print scanner on the steering wheel or a driver-focused camera on the dash to establish the driver's identity, using that ID to recall his or her saved comfort settings. Those settings could include not only how the seat, steering wheel, and side mirrors are positioned, but even HVAC settings like the driver's preferred air temperature.

As always, just because an automaker has moved to patent or trademark a thing, that doesn't mean it's necessarily bound for production, but there's plenty of reason to suspect GM's Modus Biometric System could actually land in a production car.


Why? Because it's not too far a departure from what automakers like GM are already doing. Memory driver comfort settings have been an integral part of the premium car experience since at least the 1990s, and as GM starts rolling out its Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system from the Cadillac CT6 into additional models, the system's driver attention camera, which could easily double as a facial recognition camera, will already be present.

As for which GM brand is most likely to get this technology first, our money is on luxury brand Cadillac, which has something of a history with first-in-industry tech features.


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