Skip to Content

Dashboard Watchdog

September 1, 2006

Parents fretting about their teenage drivers have a technology weapon to look forward to: a dashboard-mounted fatigue monitor that can rouse someone who seems in danger of driving off the highway. About two-thirds of drowsy-driving crashes in the United States involve drivers between 16 and 29.

Last fall, Attention Technologies, a startup in Pittsburgh, PA, introduced a ­webcam-­sized drowsiness monitor for truck drivers, based on research at Carne­gie Mellon University. It shines invisible infrared light onto a driver’s retina and measures the reflection. If the reflection is blocked too often–indicating that the driver’s eyes are having trouble staying open–the device flashes and beeps.

Now the company is planning a mass-market version that could sell for less than $100 (compared with up to $1,500 for the current versions), thanks largely to the falling cost of digital camera components and signal-­processing chips. The company is also working on a new feature that tracks the driver’s gaze angle–indicating whether he or she is actually watching the road. “We think we’ll be able to get mothers to buy this for Johnny who’s going off to spring break for the first time, or for their road-warrior husbands,” says Richard Grace, the company’s founder and CEO. He anticipates bringing the cheaper version to market within two to five years.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

A view of clouds illuminated by sunlight
A view of clouds illuminated by sunlight

We can’t afford to stop solar geoengineering research

It is the wrong time to take this strategy for combating climate change off the table.

Death and Jeff Bezos
Death and Jeff Bezos

Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever

Funders of a deep-pocketed new "rejuvenation" startup are said to include Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.

new GPT3 is a good student
new GPT3 is a good student

The new version of GPT-3 is much better behaved (and should be less toxic)

OpenAI has trained its flagship language model to follow instructions, making it spit out less unwanted text—but there's still a way to go.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.