Slowly but surely, America is starting to protect pedestrians and drivers in a smart, efficient way. General Motors will be the first U.S. car maker to release eye tracking in the cabin with the Super Cruise option for Cadillac #automagic
The idea is to detect whether the driver is falling asleep or stays vigilant during driving and alert him if necessary with audible and visual cues. But what if plan A doesn’t work? General Motors has plan B and C in work. When the alert fails to wake him up, an operator from OnStar information service will get in touch with the driver via intercom. If that doesn’t work either, the car will take charge and simply pull over from the freeway.
By the way, the Super Cruise option (automated driver assistance) is available only for highways that can be supervised thanks to detailed maps. Otherwise, the driver is on its own.
Audi cars are also expected to come with eye-tracking systems in the near future, which is another sign that we’ll soon see the trend become the norm. But will it be enough? After all, you can have your mind elsewhere, while your eyes are still on the road; I’m a big daydreamer myself.
So, what should car makers do in these cases? Well, they could analyze more than one facial feature and correlate them. FotoNation is one company whose Face Feature Detection can take into consideration up to 60 individual control features, including mouth and eye tracking. A driver with fixed eyes but twitchy lips could be under great stress behind the wheel, a mood that could cost lives.
The point is, these measures are just the beginning towards a safe car trip. More driver monitoring tools will need to be added into ALL vehicles as soon as possible.