Eyesight Technologies’ in-car A.I. can tell when drivers smoke or use phones

According to recent European Union proposals, all new cars on the road as of mid-2022 must be equipped with special driver monitoring systems that are capable of telling whether the person behind the wheel is distracted. Calls for similar guidelines are being heard all over the world. With that in mind, Israel-based Eyesight Technologies has developed new in-car monitoring technology for spotting when drivers are using cell phones or smoking while driving. These major potential causes of car accidents stop drivers from focusing fully on the road in front of them.

The latest feature builds on the existing in-car monitoring system Eyesight Technologies has developed. This system uses an infrared sensor to detect driver features such as head pose, blink rate, eye openness, and gaze. By constantly measuring these factors during the course of a journey, Eyesight’s in-cabin A.I. can work out if a driver is starting to feel asleep or is distracted in some other way.

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Eyesight Technologies

“The new features we are introducing builds on our previous capabilities to add the detection of actions: Speaking on your handset or smoking behind the wheel,” Liat Rostock, vice president of marketing at Eyesight Technologies, told Digital Trends. “This allows car manufacturers and also fleet owners to create a specific response to those actions. For example, if you’re a truck driver hauling fuel, the trucking company can get an urgent alert if you start smoking a cigarette. Another scenario is a parent who could get an alert if their teen is chatting on their handset while driving.”

Eyesight sells its technology to car manufacturers to be pre-installed in new models. According to Rostock, the company has just signed a $15 million deal with a major U.S. car manufacturer. It can also provide its software and a camera to be installed in fleet vehicles. The company also sees potential in the shared car economy by eliminating the presence of smoking in communal cars, including rentals and autonomous taxis, where there are no drivers present to enforce such policies. Eyesight will be demoing its new smoking and phone features at CES 2020 in January of next year.

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