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If cars could predict the future

Most drivers are surprisingly predictable. For example, if you knew what signs to look for, you could identify a driver at risk for nodding off at the wheel with relative ease. If your car could identify certain signs, it might be able to stop you from making hazardous choices, or at least warn you ahead of time. Researchers at Cornell University have developed a tool that may soon enable vehicles to do just that.

Unlike other driver safety systems already on the market, this driver safety system monitors a driver’s choices from inside the car. Instead of reacting when a driver makes a hazardous choice or mistake, this system monitors a driver’s behavior to anticipate which hazardous choices he or she may be at risk of making.

As one researcher recently explained, “there are many systems now that monitor what’s going on outside the car. Internal monitoring of the driver will be the next leap forward.” The internal system that was recently developed picks up cues from drivers’ body language and analyzes it in conjunction with events occurring outside of the vehicle. Taken together, these pieces of information aid the system in preventing car accidents before they have a chance to occur.

Unlike other systems which only warn drivers after they have made poor choices, this safety system warns drivers before they have a chance to make a hazardous decision. This safety-related breakthrough may ultimately be the kind of innovative approach that results in a dramatic drop in motor vehicle accident rates. Only time and a widespread dissemination of this technology will tell.

Source: Cornell Chronicle, “Car safety system could anticipate driver’s mistakes,” Bill Steele, April 14, 2015


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