Some major automotive suppliers won't just be rolling out new driver-assistance technology in the coming years. They also will be deploying health technology aimed at detecting COVID-19, alerting someone to signs of a heart attack and purifying the air in vehicles.
"Our technologies make mobility cleaner, safer and smarter," Valeo Deputy CEO Christophe Perillat said this month at CES. "Naturally, they're finding their ways into other fields beyond our traditional automotive business."
Suppliers including Valeo and Mitsubishi Electric are finding that much of the technology they are developing for advanced driver-assistance systems can provide health benefits as well.
Take Valeo, for instance. At CES, it showcased a COVID-19 symptom detection terminal that the supplier says can determine whether someone has the coronavirus without making contact with the person, and do so in less than two minutes—with accuracy similar to that of a PCR test.
The detection system was created using the same driver monitoring technology in advanced driver-assistance systems, which monitor a driver's face for signs that the person is paying attention to the roadway and is alert. Valeo said its system uses radar, camera and artificial intelligence technologies to watch for signs of COVID-19.