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General Motors Developing Cars That Can Detect Distracted Driving

Thursday, September 11, 2014

General Motors Developing Cars That Can Detect Distracted Driving

 Driving
According to reports,  General Motors may soon be including a system in their vehicles that monitor drivers and prevent distracted driving. The safety system uses a series of cameras, motion sensors, and face recognition software, that allows the device to detect signs of distraction.




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n addition to various government agencies and road safety organizations, many car makers have actively joined the battle against distracted driving lately, after becoming aware of the disastrous impact it has on society. There is somewhat of a consensus among transportation authorities, law enforcement, and the auto industry, that technology can help fight distracted driving, and automakers have been urged by the Department of Transportation to try and develop high-tech solutions and strategies to deter drivers from engaging into activities that can take their attention away from driving and focus on the road.

One of the most promising in-car technology solutions unveiled lately is a system that can detect distracted driving behavior, developed by General Motors. As the Financial Times reports, the American car maker has developed an eye- and hand-tracking technology, which is supposed to be implemented in 500,000 vehicles that are set to be rolled out within the next three to five years.

Cameras will track the driver's head movements and facial expressions, and determine whether he/she has turned his/her eyes off the road for more than a couple of seconds, which could lead to a collision.


According to the report, Takata, a company that supplies GM with safety components, has signed a contract with Seeing Machines, an Australian manufacturer of sensing technologies and analytics, to supply the tracking devices that will be installed in various GM models. The solution developed by Seeing Machines involves a series of cameras, motion sensors, and face recognition software, that allows the device to detect signs of distraction. The cameras will track the driver's head movements and facial expressions, and determine whether he/she has turned his/her eyes off the road for more than a couple of seconds, which could lead to a collision.

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Than, if the sensors and the cameras detect some of these potentially dangerous eye and hand movements, the device will alert the driver and remind them that they need to keep their eyes on the road.

On top of the detecting distracted driving feature, the device will also be able to protect cars from theft, with a feature that can determine whether the person sitting behind the wheel is the car's owner, or another authorized user of the car. What's more, it will allow drivers to access mobile apps through eye movements, which will surely help eliminate a lot of potential distractions.

However, while technology is being touted as the ideal solution to distracted driving by some, others argue that it might deteriorate the problem even further. Some traffic safety experts are of the opinion that fitting vehicles with this kind of devices will only encourage drivers to do tasks that are not related to driving, thinking that the sensors and cameras will keep them safe, which does not help raise awareness of the consequences of distracted driving at all.

Be that as it may, in a time when there is no shortage of things that can distract a driver, these types of solutions are a good addition to the campaigns against this risky behavior, and with the introduction of these devices, General Motors wishes to demonstrate its commitment to contribute to the eradication of this epidemic on U.S. roads.


By Jordan PerchEmbed

Author Bio - Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “safe driving” specialist. He is a writer for DMV.com, which is a collaborative community designed to help ease the stress and annoyance of “dealing with the DMV.”