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Keep Your Eyes On The Road

Your car may soon be able to detect when your eyes wander due to distraction or fatigue. The commercial trucking industry has already begun investing in devices meant to track the eyes and faces of drivers. General Motors has now made a similar investment by purchasing 500,000 tracking devices from the company Seeing Machines. The devices can tell within a single degree of angle where you are looking.

GM has not released a statement regarding how they intend to use these devices. If you look down at the radio, your cell phone, your morning coffee or basically anywhere other than the road, the machines could allow your vehicle to provide you with a warning tone. Such devices could also eventually be combined with other driver assist technology to slow your vehicle or take evasive action to avoid a collision. It is possible that the initial use of face and eye-tracking devices will simply be to gather information about possible uses in the future.

Privacy concerns may limit the potential of devices meant to track the driver's condition. Some drivers may prefer that vehicles not be equipped with the devices or that the devices be disabled. While many vehicles already come equipped with "black box" technology, some drivers might not like the idea that their own cars could provide information that their negligence caused a car accident.

Technology has been the driving force behind the falling rate of injuries and deaths caused by traffic accidents. Driver tracking may be the next step in reducing accidents caused by tired or distracted drivers.

Source: Wired, "Your Next Chevy May Watch You Watching the Road," by Jordan Golson, 3 September 2014

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