Eyes on you: Cadillac eye-tracking tech will wake you up or pull you over

gm super cruise cadillac eye tracking 2017 ct6 interior
As we travel on the road to fully self-driving cars, the automotive industry wants you to stay alert. Cadillac’s new Super Cruise tracks your eyes to be sure you’re paying attention when using the optional semi-autonomous system, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Offered first for the 2017 Cadillac CT6, the Super Cruise system uses visual and audible alerts if it detects you’re not paying attention. Ignore the alerts and an OnStar information system rep will speak to you via intercom — OnStar is required with Super Cruise. If you still don’t respond the car pulls to the side of the road and stops.

Super Cruise will only work on highways with fully detailed map data — if the car is going to pull over on its own it needs to know for sure where to go safely.

Super Cruise also checks that your hands are on the wheel, the most common way carmakers have been tracking alertness. But that’s not enough, says General Motors EVP for global product development Mark Reuss, because “you can defeat the hands-on-the-wheel devices pretty readily.” Therefore GM “will use something that’s pretty hard to get around,” Reuss said.

Consumers have mixed feelings about self-driving cars, but manufacturers and government regulators are in overdrive rushing to advance the technology. The fact that over 90 percent of crashes result from human error is motivating both the industry and the government.

Until fully self-driving vehicles can take over, however, humans have shown a tendency to over-rely on driver-assist features that still require driver monitoring. This reliance had tragic, headline-grabbing, fatal results in May in the case of a Tesla Model S that had the company’s driver-assist AutoPilot system engaged.

So as carmakers develop fully capable vehicle autonomy, the focus is on driver attention and alertness in operating the interim semi-autonomous tech.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.
Cars

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Cars

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.
Cars

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.
Cars

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…
Cars

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.
Cars

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.
Cars

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.
Cars

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.
Cars

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.