New Technology Hacks Distracted Driving

We have come to expect outward-facing cameras in vehicles, but now they’ll look inward to spot one of the most frequent sources of vehicular danger, that being the driver.

Some time back in this space, yours truly made the bold prediction that all the educational campaigns in the world would not stop drivers from texting, because, well, people are just no darn good. They can’t be counted on to put the safety of their passengers and fellow motorists ahead of their need to post on Facebook about what a great burger they had for lunch.

But fear not, he said. Technology will find a way. And you had to figure Volvo, which has pledged to end all fatalities involving its product, would be on the forefront of the solution.

The company wants to combine in-car cameras with Artificial Intelligence to figure out when drivers are too drunk or distracted to be behind the wheel. Using its “next-gen, SPA2-based vehicles,” that being the second generation of its modular platform, such cameras would look for erratic behavior, non-responsiveness and steering or braking errors. In response, it would initially give audiovisual warnings and perhaps slow the vehicle’s speed.

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Should more intervention be needed, Volvo’s monitoring system would contact the company’s on-call driver assistance service, which might then use remote driving systems to pull the car over.

While Volvo seems to be at the forefront of driver-monitoring cameras, several other car companies are working on similar systems to keep drivers and their passengers safe.

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