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Seeing Machines wins contract with major North American self-driving car company

An initial A$2.2mln order will see the Guardian backup-driver monitoring system added to a significant number of the client's autonomous vehicle fleet
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Seeing Machines uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse the heads, faces and eyes of drivers

Seeing Machines Ltd (LON:SEE) shares rose on Monday as the firm said its technology will be installed as a safety feature in self-driving cars as part of a contract with an American manufacturer.

For an up-front fee of A$2.2mln, the AIM-listed company’s Guardian backup-driver monitoring system (BDMS) will be added to a large proportion of the fleet of the new customer, which was described as a “leading North American self-driving car company”.

READ: Seeing Machines looking up as it streamlines fleet division to accelerate adoption of driver monitoring tech

As part of the agreement, the self-driving car company has the option to make further purchases.

Leading North American self-driving car companies include well-known names like Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Waymo and a raft of others like Aurora, Nuro, Voyage and Zoox, are all filling up their tank with venture capital cash in the race to develop driverless cars, lorries and delivery vans.

The Guardian BDMS technology is based on Seeing Machines' FOVIO driver monitoring technology, which uses measures and analyses driver attention state, focus, drowsiness and impairment levels, and can be easily retrofitted into semi- and fully-autonomous vehicles.

Guardian is designed to help the backup-driver in an autonomous driving vehicle stay alert, aware and ready to take control of the driving task whenever necessary, as well as providing data for the self-driving fleet owners to monitor and evaluate backup-driver performance.

Nick DiFiore, the Australia-headquarted outfit’s automotive chief, said: "It has been gratifying for the Seeing Machines team to work with a sophisticated customer who shares our passion for road safety, and we are delighted to see our technology used to achieve the safer development and testing of autonomous vehicle technology on our public roads".

As part of an ongoing restructuring, which has included streamlining the fleet division in a push to accelerate adoption of its driver-monitoring technology, Seeing Machines recently agreed to part company with its chief executive and chairman as it looks for a CEO to drive the next stage of growth.

In afternoon trading, shares in Seeing Machines gained 2% at 3.25p.

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