Scientists Working on In-Car Facial Recognition Technology to Prevent Accidents

eyebrow.jpgWe are all familiar with facial recognition technologies used in CCTV systems, and visa processing. Soon however, your car could come with an in-car facial recognition system that will observe the changes in your facial expressions to determine whether you are driving while fatigued, stressed, or whether there are other changes in your emotions and moods that could possibly increase your risk of an accident. In such cases, the system could even act to prevent an accident.

Modern auto safety technologies perform a range of safety-related tasks, like detecting cars, objects or pedestrians in your path and applying the brakes before you can react in order to prevent an accident. Lane departure warning systems alert you when you are in danger of veering off your lane because of fatigue or distraction.

However, while these systems have been fine-tuned to detect objects, pedestrians and other cars that pose a possible accident hazard, they do not detect the person’s emotions and mood changes that could possibly increase his accident risk.

This is a highly intriguing new area in auto safety research, but the field is not exactly brand-new. Several companies have been conducting research on facial recognition tech for motorists. For instance, Toshiba has developed a facial recognition system that looks for signs of distraction on the motorist’s face, and also allows the drivers to tune the radio with the blink of an eye. BMW has been conducting research on technology that would track a motorist’s eyeballs to understand the potential for distraction.

However, the newest research comes from the folks at Peugeot Citroën who are working together with Swiss scientists. Their technology would use a camera to capture facial expressions on the driver’s face. The camera would specifically look for signs of distractions as well as emotion changes that could increase the person’s risk of being involved in an accident. The technology would also step in to take action before these changes result in a dangerous situation. The technology involves a more interactive and intuitive human-machine interface that will monitor current facial expressions to understand the potential for accidents in the near future.

Currently, the system is being tested on a prototype vehicle, and the developers are working on strengthening the system by increasing the number of images that can be processed. There are a number of challenges that the researchers must overcome before the system is introduced commercially. For instance, they’re still working on understanding how the camera can be used in low visibility, and determining the best camera placement for maximum effectiveness.

Some of the most exciting research these days is taking place in the field of auto safety technology, and with good reason. Car buyers have become more safety-savvy and are more likely to spend their money on a car that comes with more sophisticated safety features.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP, represent persons injured in accidents across Indiana.