Financial News

  • 2 September 2014, 7:47

Car Sensor Will Alert You If You Get Distracted

The world's first mass-produced cars with eye and head-tracking technology will be able to warn drivers when they are becoming distracted.

Australian firm Seeing Machines has teamed up with US car giant General Motors to supply tracking devices for 500,000 vehicles over the next five years.

The sensors measure the rotation of the head to alert drivers if they are not focusing on the road ahead.

Seeing Machines chief executive Ken Kroeger told the Financial Times: "Safety doesn't sell cars - sexy sells cars."

He said that while driver safety was the only use for the sensors so far, their capabilities would be expanded in time.

"Once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes."

One potential use is detecting the identity of a driver to combat car theft, or allowing a motorist to activate a dashboard app simply by looking at it.

Privacy concerns should be partially allayed by the fact that the device will not keep or transmit any information initially.

The cameras use algorithms to recognised facial features, head movement and blink rate.

This is imposed over a map of the car's interior to work out what a driver is looking at.

The company is also reportedly researching technology that can tell how hard a driver is thinking by monitoring the dilation of the pupils, as well as monitoring blood alcohol levels.

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