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Will it someday be common for cars to track driver tiredness?

The use of sensors in cars has grown considerably in recent years. These days, cars can have sensors aimed at tracking all kinds of things.

Might it one day be common for cars to track how tired a driver is behind the wheel? Panasonic has recently developed a fatigued driving prevention system which would gauge driver drowsiness.

The system uses a camera and sensors to track certain things about a driver and the environment in their vehicle. An artificial intelligence system analyzes the information coming from the camera and the sensors to determine the driver’s level of drowsiness.

If the system detected lower levels of drowsiness, it would automatically make some changes to the environment in the car to try to help the driver stay “comfortably awake.” This could include changes to the temperature, air flow and brightness levels in the vehicle. If it detected levels of drowsiness so high that environment changes wouldn’t help, it would then issue an alert to the driver.

It is thought the technology might reach the vehicle manufacturer testing phase by later this year. One wonders, when this phase happens, what manufacturers will think of the technology. One also wonders if this sort of technology will one day end up being included in a great many vehicles.

If technology that tracks driver drowsiness were to become commonplace, it could have impacts on things beyond drowsy driving prevention. For example, it could have impacts on what sorts of evidence is out there to prove that drowsy driving was present in a given accident. Proving drowsy driving occurred is currently something that can have some significant challenges connected to it. So, one wonders if data from in-car sensors might come to play a big role in personal injury cases involving drowsy driving accidents in the future.

Source: PC Mag, “Panasonic Uses AI to Keep Drowsy Drivers Awake,” Matthew Humphries, July 31, 2017

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