Northville’s Mitsubishi Electric Debuts Advanced Digital Cockpit

The Inca Jay digital cockpit from Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America in Northville features a variety of advanced technologies for driver assistance, cabin safety, and more. // Stock Photo
The Inca Jay digital cockpit from Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America in Northville features a variety of advanced technologies for driver assistance, cabin safety, and more. // Stock Photo

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America Inc. (MEAA) in Northville has debuted a new digital cockpit, Inca Jay, that showcases a suite of technologies for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), cabin safety, and enhanced user experience (UX).

The Inca Jay cockpit is powered by the third Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platform, which utilizes Integrity, a real-time operating system for performance, safety, and security, from Green Hills Software based in Santa Barbara, Calif.

“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 94 percent of accidents are caused by manual errors,” says Mark Rakoski, vice president of engineering at MEAA. He also is responsible for Filament Labs, the newly formed Advanced Engineering arm of the company. “We developed the Inca Jay automotive cockpit platform with advanced ADAS features designed to help enhance safety and UX on future vehicles.”

The driver monitoring system (DMS) in the Inca Jay cockpit monitors drivers and other occupants with a near-infrared camera and radio-wave sensor to prevent accidents, detect occupants, and monitor emotions. The demand for safety enhancements and automated driving human machine interface (HMI) technologies is growing rapidly worldwide. According to a study by Frost & Sullivan, the total addressable market is expected to increase more than 45 percent over the next 10 years.

The current generation DMS is currently in 2019-2022 model-year vehicles with various global OEMs. The next-gen system in the Inca Jay further elevates the technology, utilizing an onboard near-infrared camera to detect driver drowsiness or sudden sickness based on facial expressions (closed eyes, open mouth) and other body information, including pulse and respiration rates.

In addition, face-tracking and image-processing technologies detect slight variations in skin tone due to changes in heartbeat, even in the presence of vehicle vibrations and/or changes in ambient light. If abnormal physical conditions are detected, the system suggests the driver stop to rest, or can activate an automated emergency-parking function to prevent possible accidents. A near-infrared camera can detect the presence of occupants and uses the position of a passenger’s face and upper body skeletal points to accurately determine body size.

For additional safety, a cabin sensor uses the signals’ reflective and transmissive properties of radio waves to detect the presence of children in the camera’s blind spots, such as wrapped in a blanket or down in the footwell and will alert the driver and others nearby in case children are left in the vehicle unattended.

Another new feature, the high-definition locator (HDL) supports safer nighttime driving by controlling headlights adaptively with internal/external sensors. It enables headlight control to adapt to the curve and slope of the road and the driver’s direction of view. It automatically identifies where the driver is looking, recognizes potentially dangerous hazards, and illuminates objects to enhance safety during nighttime driving.

The HDL also is utilized in advanced UX technologies throughout the vehicle. Paired with augmented reality, location, and payment services on the center display provide bookmarks for parking spots and other landmarks. The system also scans and saves credit card information for easy payment. In addition, gas station preferences can be pre-set, and pump detection directs the driver to the nearest available pump.

Inca Jay uses a custom version of the TomTom navigation for Automotive software development kit to showcase location-based services and cluster safety augmented reality overlay.

“Like Mitsubishi Electric’s Inca Jay, TomTom’s cloud-native navigation has been developed to equip drivers with the most advanced, safe and intuitive user experience,” says Antoine Saucier, managing director of TomTom Automotive.

“Our innovations are built to harness the most advanced technologies of today and tomorrow. By integrating augmented reality into TomTom’s latest solution, navigating becomes simpler, safer, and the world becomes easier to understand.” 

Additional innovations include an advanced infotainment system with multiple entertainment sources built into the media system with additional entertainment features, including live karaoke transcription, location-based music recommendations, and popular gaming platform integration.

Third-party app support is compatible with various Android applications. It provides COVID status updates from recognized healthcare sources and time-sensitive weather information.

“We are very pleased that Mitsubishi Electric selected Green Hills technology and experience for the safe and secure foundation of its advanced digital cockpits and safety technologies,” says Dan Mender, vice-president of business development, Green Hills Software.

“The trusted execution of system-critical functions with high-performance graphics and cabin safety functions are key requirements for the cockpit. Global automotive customers can now realize these enhanced features while reducing the cost and time-to-deployment of their next-generation safety-critical digital cockpits.”