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Seeing Machines sees bright future for driver monitoring technology


What it does

Seeing Machines PLC (LON:SEE) makes driver monitoring systems (DMS) that can be used in cars, trucks, trains and aircraft.

The technology tracks the eye gaze, head position and pupil size of drivers or pilots to determine whether they are drowsy or distracted.

Among some of the firm’s clients are Autoliv, General Motors, Coach USA, Bosch, Caterpillar and Emirates.

Seeing Machines sees an opportunity for its DMS in the autonomous vehicles market that is being developed by the likes of Tesla, General Motors and Alphabet’s Waymo.

There are different levels of autonomy with level 0 being when you hear a beep as you approach an object when reversing and level 5 being when the steering wheel becomes superfluous.

The AIM-listed group is based in Canberra, Australia but serves markets across Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific.


How it is doing

In March. Seeing Machines said it expects 30 car models to be fitted with its driver monitoring technology within the next two calendar years just from existing customers.

General Motors’ Cadillac Escalade is the latest vehicle on the roads to incorporate a Driver Attention System featuring its technology, bringing the total of vehicles currently in production to five across three customers

As more models are launched, revenues from the automotive division will change to significantly higher margin-based royalty revenue, the Australian-based tech company added.

Revenues in the six months to end-December rose by 15% to A$18.1mln (£10mln) led by aftermarket sales, which rose by 17% to A$15mln while automotive and aviation improved by 5% to A$3.1mln.

Connections in the Guardian aftermarket business were 26,597 at the end of  2020, which Seeing Machines said represented growth in the installed base of over 3,000 units in the past six months.

Net losses were reduced to A$16.8mln from A$24.9mln this time a year ago and helped by cost-saving measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic to cope with the disruption.


What the boss says: Paul McGlone, chief executive

“The first half of FY2021 has been pleasing and we are buoyed by the progress in Fleet, as well as the significant increase in RFQ [quote] activity in Automotive across key markets as carmakers ready themselves for mounting safety standards and technology advances inside the cabin, all supported by camera-based DMS.

“We are now in production on five car models, working across three OEMs, and that is set to ramp up significantly over the coming two years.”


What the broker says

Cenkos has noted that the Occula technology being applied to the company’s FOVIO chip implementations means “existing FOVIO chip customers can benefit as the processing headroom provided” enables room for new features to be added off the same hardware.

“We see the launch of Occula as an exciting development for the company with this step-change in the Seeing Machines technology expected to further the gap from its peers in benchmark testing.

It is the result of significant work under the radar and the announcement demonstrates confidence in the company that it has world-class technology not just in DMS but also human tracking and detection”, the broker’s analysts said.

“This will undoubtedly increase its potential market share in automotive but will also no doubt pique the interest of other technology developers and integrators.

“Seeing Machines is therefore opening back up from a transportation focussed technology company to a human-machine interface technology supplier.


Inflexion points

  • Traction in all key areas where Seeing Machines operates
  • More contracts for DMS technology
  • Revenues start to build as contracts ramp-up

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