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In-Car Facial Recognition Systems to Detect Motorists’ Accident Risks

Posted in Blog on May 25, 2013

The current auto safety technology that we have in cars helps alert motorists when they’re in danger of being involved in an accident.  However, new facial recognition technology that is currently being tested in a prototype vehicle will check the driver’s facial expressions to monitor his potential risk of an accident.

The system consists of a camera that monitors the driver’s face, and looks for minute changes of expression that could possibly denote that the driver is distracted, stressed, or tired.  All of these are important factors that could possibly cause an accident.  For instance, a driver could be distracted by a conversation that he is having on a cell phone, or simply by focusing on tasks other than that of driving.  A stressed driver or someone who is tired or sleepy is also at a much higher risk of an accident.

The system is different from other accident prevention systems, in that the system would look for signs that the driver is tired, sleepy or stressed, much before his accident risks increase.

Currently, the system is installed in a prototype vehicle, and is being tested.  The researchers are trying to fine-tune the system to increase the number of images that can be captured by the camera.

There are plenty of wrinkles in the system that must be smoothened before the car can be introduced commercially.  The challenge has been to place the camera in the right position to capture facial expressions, not just when the driver is looking directly in front, but also when he is looking at the side.

Once these hurdles have been crossed, and the system has been fine-tuned, it is likely that in-car facial recognition technology will become as important in preventing accidents as electronic stability control systems.

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