Distracted Drivers May Soon be Caught in the Act
If you’re one of the many distracted drivers on the road, read on. General Motors is working on new technology that will expose you! It is an eye-tracking mechanism that will reveal when your eyes are not looking at the road, the rearview mirror or anyplace else upon which you should be focusing.
General Motors plans to place these devices in about a half-million new vehicles over the next three to five years. By doing so, they will be the first auto manufacturer to install eye-tracking technology in its vehicles.
Distracted Drivers, Take Heed!
The auto manufacturer is using technology designed by a company called Seeing Machines, according to The Financial Times. The technology is multifaceted, as it features algorithms that detect how long (and where) drivers are focusing their attention – in addition to its tracking cameras.
Addressing Privacy Issues
Your first thought might be that technology for exposing distracted drivers seems to be rather invasive – and in a way, it is. However, there are times when sacrifices are necessary for the overall good … and this seems to be one of those times. Consider this: statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that one out of every 10 crashes in our country that results in a fatality was the result of a distracted driver. Further, statistics compiled in Australia say one-fifth of their drivers admit to being distracted at the time of a crash.
Back to the privacy issue … for the time being, at least, Seeing Machines says they will not store and keep the information their devices record.
This technology is being made ready just as another group is using monitoring technology for an entirely different purpose. The Royal Automotive Club of Western Australia, along with Emotiv, is testing the ability to use brain waves to start a car’s engine and keep it moving. Using a neuro headset, the “Attention Powered Car” uses customized software to connect brain activity to the car’s engine.
The headset has a total of 14 sensors that gather electrical activity from the frontal, temple, parietal and perceptual parts of the driver’s brain. They activity it records can tell what the driver is processing at that moment … and when it appears that the driver is distracted, the accelerator switches to idle – safely slowing down the car.
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