Mitsubishi EMIRAI 3 xDAS concept can sense drivers' condition

Not all car makers have completely jumped aboard the self-driving train. Some have preferred to stay on the periphery, slowly adding features that make cars smarter while still putting the driver in complete control. Mitsubishi's latest concept car is one such example of the latter. Instead of putting in your own personal robotic driver, the EMIRAI 3 xDAS feels more like having a doctor always on call, ready to alert the driver, or maybe someone else, should it sense something wrong with his or her physical condition.

Mitsubishi's goal with the new concept car is to promote safety and comfort. It does so not by taking the wheel away from the driver but by assisting him or her. In particular, the EMIRAI 3 xDAS, which is based on the EMIRAI 2 electric car from 2013, includes a couple of driver sensing and telematics features to accomplish this goal. The car is equipped with a camera trained on the driver's face, tracking the line of sight and face direction to better detect if the driver will be able to see obstacles ahead. The EMIRAI 3 is also equipped with side cameras which can look up and down a street to get a better view of the car's surroundings in poor visibility.

The car also has non-contact cardiograph developed in partnership with the National University Corporation Kyushu Institute of Technology. This cardiograph can help give the car an idea of the driver's current physical condition. Using telematics, it compares the current state with previously recorded driver behavior. If, for example, it detects what could be fatigue, it offers recommendations for rest stops.

The EMIRAI 3 xDAS also improves on the cockpit dashboard introduced in its predecessor. The new Human-Machine Interface, or HMI, features include LCD panels that have been optically bonded to produce brighter images and lessen reflection. Much of the controls on the dash can be operated by hand or with motions without requiring the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. A 3D heads-up display on the combiner projects images of objects up to 10 meters away, allowing drivers to see farther ahead.

The Mitsubishi EMIRAI 3 xDAS concept car will make its public debut at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show from October 29 to November 8 this year.