A Chinese car blogger recently said that he was misjudged by an automated driving feature due to the size of his eyes. The topic then went viral on Chinese social media platform Weibo on July 26. This has triggered several responses from Chinese car companies such as XPeng and NIO.
According to the blogger, the first high-level assisted driving he used was Tesla’s Autopilot, which relied on the steering wheel to detect whether the driver is suffering any abnormal conditions, and everything went well.
However, when the blogger went to the U.S. to test drive General Motors’ Super Cruise in 2018, he found that whether it was infrared or a camera, as long as the driver’s eyes were detected, it would be judged to be fatigued. In this regard, General Motors’ engineer in charge of the project said that in addition to small eyes, it was also related to the blogger’s facial undulations and height. For vehicle detection equipment, the blogger’s elevation angle was too high and the target was too small. Therefore, the engineer said that when the general detection system enters China, it must ask the blogger for help in R&D.
Since then, the blogger has used many brands of assisted driving systems, none of which have correctly detected the blogger’s driving status. In the XPeng P7, the vehicle notified the driver that he was asleep. In the Voyah FREE, the vehicle turned on the cold wind in winter to help the blogger “not get sleepy”. In the NIO ET7, the blogger was found to be fatigued and distracted by the vehicle as soon as he drove, so this function has now been turned off by the blogger.
But the blogger believes that this is not a long-term solution. Because these functions are closely related to higher-level assisted driving, the blogger may have many advanced auxiliary functions that cannot be used normally in the future.
As for the problem of misjudging the current state of the driver by measuring the eyes of the car owner, He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of XPeng, called out Liu Yilin, Deputy General Manager of XPeng‘s Internet Center, on Weibo to deal with the problem. The official account of XPeng also responded that the automated driving product department had received optimization requests overnight.
In addition, NIO has also set up a research group, hoping to help the blogger solve such problems related to the assisted driving function. After several Chinese car companies’ responses, the blogger said that the response speed of vehicle startups have made many traditional car companies ashamed, and believes that China will definitely take the lead in this round of technological advancement.