Focusing on the Road: Why the New Eye Tracking Technology Means Safer Driving
According to the Transport Accident Commission, around 20% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Tech companies have been working for several years to create a solution that can help reduce that statistic. Now they have developed eye tracking technology.
Eye tracking is one of the latest advances in computer technology. It uses infrared tracking of a person’s face, eyes and head movements in order to analyze an individual’s metal alertness, focus, and attention. It is currently being developed for many applications including aerospace, medical and marketing.
One of the eye tracking technology’s other groundbreaking applications is aimed at helping drivers stay safer on the road. It works by creating a reflection on each of the driver’s corneas with an infrared light.
The reflection from each eye is then captured by a camera. Smart algorithms are able to identify each eye’s pupil and iris and combine the two readings. At the same time, the software also reads facial expressions and movements of the head. Gradually the system gets to learn the subject’s face so that it can determine the pose of the head even if it’s not fully visible.
Why you Need Eye Tracking for your Car
If you’re a driver who spends a lot of time on the road, such as a long distance truck driver, or a salesperson, eye tracking technology may be a good idea. If you’ve been driving for a long period, fatigue can quickly creep up on you without you noticing. If you fall asleep for just four seconds while you are the wheel and you’re driving at a speed of 60 mph, you will have already traveled a distance of 120 yards with no driver in control of the car. At this speed there is a high risk of severe injury or even fatality.
If you’d like to try the new technology and you’re in the market for a new car, here’s a great site to start looking for new and used vehicles. Here are some of the future benefits of eye tracking:
- Alert mode: If the system detects that you’re not paying attention when driving, or if your eyes drift from the road, it will make visual and audible alerts to grab your attention.
- Communication mode: If the alerts fail to work, some systems will connect your car’s intercom system with a member of OnStar personnel.
- Stop mode: If this also fails, the car will pull over onto the side of the highway and turn off the engine.
For now, some of these eye tracking technologies are still under development, or are only available in certain models of car. But in the not too distance future, they may become a familiar part of daily driving.
As well as offering safety features, eye tracking technology is also valuable for driver identification, and in-car comfort. Further down the road, it may also become a valuable resource for developing autonomous cars.
Logan Blake works in the auto insurance industry and enjoys keeping up with the auto industry as a whole being a techy geeky guy! He writes about his knowledge, and his findings in his articles.