GM may be planning automotive face biometrics tech for North American vehicles

American car company General Motors has filed a new trademark that points to it releasing a new facial recognition system in Mexico. This latest report follows one from GM Authority from November of 2020 that pointed to a similar filing from GM for North America, though that one did not include Mexico.

The new trademark — filed under the name “Modus Biometric System” — was filed on January 21, 2021, with the Mexican Institute for Industrial Property. According to a translation by GM Authority, it is under the Goods and Services category of “adaptive electronic systems for vehicles, sold as an integral part of a terrestrial motor vehicle.”

Facial recognition systems have been gaining popularity steadily for years now, though the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting growth in demand for contactless biometrics that has come from a fear of touching shared surfaces may have accelerated this trend.
The automotive industry has been steadily adopting biometric technologies over the past several years. Though most of that has come in the form of voice biometrics-based smart assistants, there have been some developments in recent months in the field of LiDAR technology, which is anticipated to have major applications in the smart car industry.

As for GM, the auto giant already has a facial recognition system for keyless entry that it offers with its 2021 Cadillac XT4 crossover vehicle in the Chinese market. That system uses a high-definition infrared camera in combination with a fingerprint reader and a touchscreen, and works by scanning the driver’s face when they approach the door and allowing access if they are authenticated by the system. The fingerprint scanner can be used in concert with a password if the driver chooses to do so for added, multimodal biometric security.