Business Impact

Drivers: Pay Attention

Software-enhanced video camera makes sure the person with hands on the wheel stays focused on the road.

More than a quarter of car crashes can be blamed on drivers who simply aren’t paying attention. So while some experimental car-safety systems look out for approaching obstacles, tailgaters, and other hazards, a team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego, is developing a tool that keeps an eye on the driver to make sure his or her eyes are on the road. Led by electrical engineer Mohan Trivedi, the team has come up with a single-camera system that simultaneously tracks both the driver’s head and the road. Mounted on the dashboard, side mirror, or sunroof, the camera is coupled with a dome-shaped mirror that gives a 360-degree view of what’s going on inside and outside the car. Software running on a computer in the trunk analyzes the camera image to estimate what the driver is looking at in real time, based on the tilt of his or her head and face; if the system determines the driver is not paying attention to an imminent hazard, it sounds an alarm in the car. The researchers have so far installed the prototype system in two experimental vehicles and are now testing it to see if it can detect where a car is in relation to lane markers and alert the driver if the car is unintentionally drifting out of the lane. They have recently filed a patent on the technology.

Other Prototypes
Tree Bot
Games on the Grid
Great Balls of Fire
Bomb Buster
Security in Black and White
Digital Sketch Pad
HIV Monitor

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Business Impact

How technology advances are changing the economy and providing new opportunities in many industries.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

You've read of free articles this month.