Smile! GM may use cameras to combat distracted driving

2015 Cadillac ATS
How would you react if your car started staring at you?

As more technology finds its way into cars, distracted driving is only going to become more of a problem. General Motors may be trying to solve that problem by pointing cameras at drivers.

According to the Financial Times (sub. required), GM is planning to incorporate tech that tracks eye and head movement into future cars.

Australian company Seeing Machines recently signed an agreement with automotive supplier Takata to provide tracking devices for up to 500,000 vehicles per year over the next three to five years, the report says. GM has not confirmed these plans

The devices will be able to monitor the rotation of a driver’s head, and warn the meat bag behind the wheel when he or she isn’t spending enough time looking at the road ahead.

Cameras would record movements, and Seeing Machines has developed an algorithm that recognizes facial features and orient them in relation to the environment.

Related: Apple CarPlay may not be safer than texting while driving

While the initial goal would be increased safety, analysts believe this technology could have other applications that, ironically, feed into the same connected-car trend that is making distracted driving such a big issue.

The system could be used, for example, to allow a driver to “push” a button just by looking at it.

Besides allowing people to pretend they have telekinetic powers, this would allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel more. However, it would also require them to look away – at a button or screen – and simply thinking about a secondary task could be distracting in its own right.

There’s also the question of whether onboard cameras will save videos of drivers, and who will have access to them. Will police be able to use video records for investigations? Where do drivers’ rights come into play?

People in cars aren’t invisible, but they’re generally considered private places. Would you want someone to be able to review everything you do behind the wheel?

It’s a complicated issue. Just putting the phone down seems a lot simpler.

Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Computing

Getting Windows 10 updated doesn't have to be so painful

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Home Theater

Tablo’s new auto ad-skip feature might change cord-cutting forever

The best part about free, over-the-air TV is that you watch and record your favorite shows without paying the cable companies. But needing to skip ads still isn't as much fun as Netflix, so Tablo will let you skip them automatically.
Cars

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.
Cars

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.