Brain4Cars analyzes driving behavior with AI to predict and prevent road accidents

As cars gets smarter, tech developments in our dashboards aim to help humans keep up, or at the very least to keep human drivers alert behind the wheel. To make this happen, researchers have developed a deep learning neural network called Brain4Cars that combines the many approaches of top-of-the-line smart car technology, and augments them with artificial intelligence.

Cars obviously aren’t the only things getting smarter, and as our gadget collections pile up we’re prone to becoming ever more distracted. Even with existing road safety regulations and legislation to keep drivers safe, 33,000 people die in road accidents every year. What’s more, over 90 percent of road accidents in the U.S. can be attributed to driver error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority.

Many car manufacturers have already taken to installing safety systems in new models that alert drivers to dangerous behaviors and external environmental risks. Brain4Cars basically takes all these technologies and rolls them into one, combining safety measures like internal and external cameras with GPS, vehicle dynamics reporting, and an extensive database of driver behavior recordings.

What sets Brain4Cars apart is what it does with this comprehensive, real-time data collection. By feeding information from the data sources into a proprietary artificial intelligence, the system is able to reliably predict individual driver behavior in real-time, and anticipate errors up to 3.5 seconds in advance with an 80% accuracy rate.

Researchers from Stanford and Cornell modeled the Brain4Cars system on Recurrent Neural Networks with Long Short-Term Memory. The artificial intelligence analyzes in-car visual cues like the driver’s facial expressions and sightlines, while external camera feeds provide the system with a contextual understanding of the safety and appropriateness of driver choices in relation to the situation unfolding on the road.

In theory, a deep learning architecture like this could come to learn the habits of each individual driver it assists. Over time, Brain4Cars would be able to predict driver accuracy with greater precision and recall as data from the specific driver becomes part of the network’s knowledge base.

This background contextual information provided to the neural network was amassed over the course of 1,180 miles driven collectively by ten different drivers in California. Road areas included freeway and city driving to expand the AI’s contextual knowledge for commonly encountered road situations and external car environments.

Even driverless cars get their fair share of heat when it comes to on-road errors, but prediction about the future of autonomous cars suggest that accidents and collisions will be mostly due to human error — not robotic drivers. But instead of replacing human drivers entirely, Brain4Cars combines the best of driver safety tech to bring a bit of robotic precision support to humans behind the wheel.


Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Emerging Tech

Scientists have a way to turn off alcoholism: Blasting the brain with lasers

Researchers from Scripps Research have demonstrated that it is possible to reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats by targeting a part of the brain using lasers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

China has cloned its best police dog. Now it wants to mass-produce more

Scientists in China have cloned the Sherlock Holmes of police sniffer dogs, with possible plans to mass produce it in the future. Here's why its creators think that's a great idea.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.