Your Car May Soon Be Able to Tell When You Have Road Rage


Courtesy of StockVault

The science fiction novels that many of us read as children are turning into science fact with our fast-paced technologically advancing world.   A team of research scientists from the Swiss company EPFL  has developed a system that allows cars to detect their driver’s emotional states.  According to the company’s News Mediacom page, their aim is to lesson the effects of irritation and anger aka road rage on highways and city streets. Snap decisions made in hazy moments of anger can irrevocably alter the course of many people’s lives.

To help prevent instances of road rage, the EPFL adapted a facial detection device for use in a car, using an infrared camera placed behind the steering wheel. The camera’s sole responsibility is to pick up signs of a driver’s irritation. It is not clear on what actions if any would be taken short article did nto mention what would happen o the car if road rage is detected  A key issue with the development of this device is that everyone expresses irritation in different ways, and this wide array of expressions proves too complex for the device to detect reliably.

Hua Gao and Anil Yüce, the lead researchers of this EPFL project, chose to focus on only two emotions, anger and disgust, in order to simplify the project at this stage.  Hua Gao maintains that the ultimate goal of this project is to continue to update the device so that its detection abilities become more sophisticated. The ideal device would consist of “a self-taught human-machine interface, or a more advanced facial monitoring algorithm.”

This project is being coupled with the development of other automatic detector devices, such as a fatigue monitor that measures the percentage of eyelid closure as well as developing other tools that will be able to detect additional states such as distraction and  have vocal recognition technology as well.   These devices will prove useful in allowing driving to be a less negative and even less dangerous experience for drivers.

Would You Want These Facial Recognition Tools In Your Car?

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