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Denso wants to improve driver monitoring for level 3 autonomous vehicles (Photo: Denso)

Denso and Silicon Valley technology company Xperi will jointly develop next-generation driver status monitoring systems aimed at the commercial vehicle market as well as Level 3 autonomous cars.

The Japanese automotive supplier said it will work with FotoNation, an Xperi company, to significantly improve the driver status monitoring systems it is already making.

The technology will also address the problems that can arise in level 3 autonomous vehicles when drivers have to take the wheel again. Studies have shown that the longer a driver would let the car drive itself, the harder it will be for the human brain to quickly assume control of  the vehicle again.

Denso said the collaboration with Xperi will let it combine its experience in cabin sensing technology with FotoNation’s facial image recognition and neural network technologies. The tie-up will lead to "the world’s most sophisticated driver status detection," the company said,

“Understanding the status of the driver and engaging them at the right time is an important component for enabling the future of autonomous driving,” Yukihiro Kato, senior executive director at Denso, said in a statement.

Denso plans to show a a prototype next-generation driver status monitor at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month.