By 2019 shipments of factory installed driver monitoring systems (DMS) with inward facing cameras will reach 6.7 million in number.
The systems include eye tracking technology which analyses the movements of your eyelids and the direction you’re gazing in and allows for personalisation in your vehicle, security, health tracking, distraction and detection of fatigue, according to market research firm ABI Research.
Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Volkswagen already have some of these features but Toyota has deployed advanced eye tracking systems in its Lexus brand and both Volvo and General Motors will install similar systems in the future.
And in a further twist, chip companies Nvidia and Intel ears are perking up as they sense business headed their way.
It’s not just cars that will deploy such systems, however. ABI Research said in its report that companies SmartDrive and Lynx are targeting commercial vehicle fleets.
Bentley has received Volkswagen’s blessing to produce its first SUV. The green light from its corporate overlords in Wolfsburg means that Bentley will start selling the first SUVs built in England by 2016. We’re not sure the announcement will go down well in purist circles.
Seat’s Leon got a lot of positive reviews when it launched last year, thanks to Seat’s new design philosophy and Volkswagen’s featherweight MQB platform. The 5-door Leon Mk3 ended up 90kg lighter than its predecessor, yet it was the biggest MQB hatch when it launched, courtesy of a wheelbase extended by 2.3 inches over the Golf and Audi A3.
The decision to go for a longer wheelbase, the same one used on the A3 Sportback, was surprising, but it soon started to make sense when Seat announced that it would roll out the Leon SC, a 3-door coupe version with the standard MQB wheelbase. Furthermore Seat announced that it would introduce an estate version of the Leon and now a Czech car site has leaked a series of gorgeous press photos.
So far Seat kept the Leon line-up simple, as a simple 5-door hatch, but now it is offering three flavours and both the SC and ST look quite appealing indeed.
The estate is said to feature a 587-litre boot, which is a bit less than the Golf Variant and Octavia Combi, at 605 and 610 respectively. However, the Leon looks a lot more dynamic than its German and Czech siblings. The rear end looks like the lovechild of an Audi A3 Sportback and an Ibiza ST, which means it looks a lot better than most compact estates. In other words, it does not look like a hearse, but rather a nice hatch with a sporty backpack.
There is still no word on pricing or availability, but the ST should make its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The 5-door and the SC are competitively priced, hence the ST should be no exception. It should end up quite a bit cheaper than the Golf or A3, probably on par with the Octavia Combi, but with a lot more flare.