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Digital Cameras Help Alert Sleepy Drivers 308

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-car-do-the-driving dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An interesting story on how digital cameras are being mounted in cars to watch the eye movements of drivers to make sure that they are awake. The cars include two cameras, one watching the road and one watching the driver. If there is something on the road that is a danger and the driver doesn't see, the car alerts the driver. Pretty neat technology."
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Digital Cameras Help Alert Sleepy Drivers

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  • heat waves? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by liquidpele (663430) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:24AM (#10583861) Journal
    Do cameras see heat waves?
    Will the camera wig out and think I'm driving into a huge puddle of water?
    • Re:heat waves? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LiENUS (207736)
      I would imiagine it would be a false positive. Which is much better than a false negative, false postive makes you a little annoyed for a short while. False negative sends you out of controll into a ditch, your decision.
      • Re:heat waves? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mirko (198274)
        This still cannot be a "certified" application and I guess the future lies between:
        • automatic pilot (there are some ongoing studies concerning self-assembling car-trains in France and maybe elsewhere, for what I know)
        • the train pilot system which consist of a sensor that has to be manually activated every few seconds otherwise the train artificial brain concludes the driver is not available and stops.
      • Re:heat waves? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MikeDX (560598)
        I would imiagine it would be a false positive. Which is much better than a false negative, false postive makes you a little annoyed for a short while.

        Yes but too many false positives will cause you to ignore it or find a way to disable it entirely.
  • by Dancin_Santa (265275) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:24AM (#10583863) Journal
    Obviously, the final application of this kind of technology is to allow the car to take primary control of the vehicle and let the passengers relax in peace.

    We already have navigation systems that are accurate to within half a meter in many cities worldwide. We also have collision detection algorithms (aka hashing functions) that can help avoid crashing into other cars. We now can mount cameras onto vehicles to provide visual sensory input.

    All we really need is an IR sensory input for fog driving.

    In cities, this kind of "decide the destination" driving without the hassle of actually driving the vehicle would be really useful, I think.
    • by Goosey (654680) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:28AM (#10583889) Homepage
      In cities, this kind of "decide the destination" driving without the hassle of actually driving the vehicle would be really useful, I think.

      Great idea! We could call it Taxi!
    • There are already vehicles that allow the passengers to relax in peace. They are called trains!

      The problem with this technology in cars is that it assumes that cars are the only vehicles on the road. What about the pedal and motorcyclists for example?
    • by xtrvd (762313) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:40AM (#10583932)
      As much as I would like to believe that there are people striving to make automatic automotive technology available tomorrow, I have a sneaking suspicion that some people [yahoo.com] out there who make a living off of a class 4 license will argue that this cannot and will never replace a human.
    • by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:42AM (#10583949)
      "All we really need is an IR sensory input for fog driving."

      Just stick on an IR camera and cars will be able to drive themselves? Nope, we're decades away from fully automated vehicles. Real roads are far far more complex than the test roads which they have been run on so far.

      http://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~janka/PATH/st er eo_drive.html

      If you want fully automated vehicles right now, a segregated guideway is required, AKA Personal Rapid Transit.

      http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/

      • by Proc6 (518858) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @05:36AM (#10584347)
        I would think just an additional lane appended to each side of major interstates would be plenty. I dont think we really need automated pilots to drive 3 blocks of residental roads to a McDonalds. But a single, controlled-environment, automatic-pilot-only lane on I-80 would rock and feasible far sooner. Something with no bikes, no motorcycles, just cars equipped with special equipment. Maybe a verification booth at each end of long stretches to make sure people entering have said equipment.
        • by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @06:20AM (#10584517)
          The 3 city blocks to McDonalds are the most dangerous roads, interstates are relatively safe. They've had automatic driving kit for interstates for quite a while.

          e.g.
          http://www.cvhas.org/

          They use magnets embedded in the lane to determine position. The issues, what happens at the exit if the driver falls asleep? How do you handle unexpected situations like wildlife on the motorway? Who's at fault when an accident does happen, the manufacturer?

          The other thing is that it's a relatively expensive and inefficient way to apply IT to transport, a kludge even. All the vehicles (millions of them eventually) would have to be retrofitted with kit, all the motorways would have to be retrofitted for it to be effective, it's an expensive and rather slow proposition.

        • CarTrain (Score:4, Insightful)

          by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @07:30AM (#10584756) Homepage Journal
          And building a dedicated railbed and running an AutoTrain would be even easier, far more efficent, and MUCH faster.

          This is the thing that ticks me off about all of this "Intelligent Hiway" crap - we KNOW how to build trains. We KNOW how to build railbeds capable of supporting 300MPH trains. We KNOW how to build rail cars that will hold automobiles. R&D? We need no "R" - the research is done, we just need the development.

          However, since we DON'T need any research, nobody wants to look at this technology - it isn't "sexy". So everybody talks about building more intelligence into the car - but of course we will need a huge quantity of money to fund research for those pesky problems like actually dealing with the one driver who's car is NOT on full automatic drive who INSISTS upon getting into that lane.

          • by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:16AM (#10585429)
            And this is an important point. They are group vehicles.

            What this means is that they have to stop at every station on the route in the offchance that someone wants to get on or off. This makes it slow, the average speed is only a fraction of their peak or rated speed. Because they are group vehicles they also have to run to a schedule which means that you have to wait for a train. Both features make journey times significantly longer than an individual vehicle would take.

            Also, because the rolling stock is carrying a large group, it is heavy and relatively few of them are built which means no mass manufacture. The supporting infrastructure must also be heavy to cope with the size of the vehicle. This makes it expensive.

            Ok, you've got me started now. Group vehicles also simply can't go where everyone wants to go, their ridership is only the few percentage of the population who are with in easy reach of a station. If you add more stations to increase the number of people who use it the trains have to spend more time stopped and average speed suffers further making it slower. Because they don't go exactly where you want to go you have to switch modes or lines, each time you switch you incur a journey time penalty waiting on the schedule.

            Scheduled vehicles have to run whether there are people to use it or not, this kills the overall efficiency, the vehicles are heavy, accelerating them and decelerating them takes a lot of energy. During rush hour the ridership is such that it's very efficient. As soon as you get outside the rush hour period and the ridership falls so does the efficiency.

            So you end up paying a lot for relatively poor performance.

      • Decades away? That all depends on whether the will is there to develop it. JFKs vision of putting a man on the moon within a decade worked out, and we are already closer to fully automated vehicles than they were to sending a man to the moon. Or think what a $10m Xprize did for commercial space travel. Very rapid progress.

        We already have the car navigation systems, and the various hazard warning technologies, and road train systems. Automated driving on motorways (interstates, autobahns) is very nearl

        • How many trillions are you willing to spend?

          JFK's vision cost America 5% of it's GDP.

          • r/spend/invest/

            The moon program was a government sponsored dick waving contest against the Russians. There was never going to be any financial payback within the lifetimes of those who started it. But the commercial explotation of earth orbit satellites and now the X-Prize shows that government subsidy isn't always necessary for big projects.

            Also this wouldn't be all-American money like the moon project. Germany and Japan are also at the forefront of these technologies. It is an international thing.

            I
        • Fallacy. The real problem is real-time, complex, intelligent decision on incomplete data. Humans are remarkably able to do this, but machine intelligence still hasn't progressed far enough.

          Imagine an autonomous vehicle that has to do about 10 decisions a second (this is not enough, but this helps clear matters). If your system is 99.99% accurate this means an error every 1000s, i.e. every 15 minutes or so. You wouldn't be able to drive very far.

          There are no real-world intelligent decision systems that ar
  • Privacy concerns (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goosey (654680) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:24AM (#10583866) Homepage

    I can see the obvious saftey benefit from this, but perhaps the possible privacy conerns should be considered.

    Suppose this follows a logical step and they add a link to a centralized server that monitored traffic volume to help the results be more accurate.

    Suppose insurance companies were able to gain access to data this could produce, and started factoring your on-road alertness into their rate

    Yano on second thought, that doesn't sound that bad at all.

    • by tedu (647286) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:27AM (#10583884)
      good. :) my rates will go down because i won't have to subsidize all you bumblenuts who can't pay attention.
    • by polecat_redux (779887) <spamwich@gmWELTYail.com minus author> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @04:04AM (#10584028)
      Suppose insurance companies were able to gain access to data this could produce, and started factoring your on-road alertness into their rate

      And why shouldn't they? If you drive half-asleep/drunk/retarded, your rates *should* go up, and insurance companies should be able to access any relevant info about your driving habits in order to determine your rates.

      It's getting to the point where simply being inconspicuous with deviant/dangerous behavior is no longer sufficient to avoid the consequences, and I say good. I think that if you drive drunk, or speed, or drive erratically, you should get a ticket regardless of whether or not a cop happens to be present at the time. And yes, I'm talking about equipping cars with devices that can detect such crimes. Too many people confuse this with an issue of privacy or civil rights, but I don't believe it to be. Such a thing would merely serve to lift the veil of obscurity that many people tend to hide behind as they threaten the lives of those around them.
      • Re:Privacy concerns (Score:3, Informative)

        by Artega VH (739847)
        The problem with automatically issuing fines for speeding is this:

        Say you're on a two lane road (that is one lane in each direction) which allows overtaking. You're stuck behind someone going lower than the speed limit. You go to over take them (assume its a truck going up a hill) and the cars are backed up behind you.. What happens is car behind you moves into your space and you're stuck ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD. In this situation the safest thing to do is to 'feed it the fat' (jump on the gas for a
        • Say you're on a two lane road (that is one lane in each direction) which allows overtaking.

          All that would be needed to overcome that particular scenario would be an allowance for short bursts above the speed limit. Also, lanes that allow passing are generally only placed in areas where you have a clear view of the road ahead.
        • Re:Privacy concerns (Score:3, Informative)

          by ambrosen (176977)
          Well, driving safely except for the fact that you were overtaking where there wasn't enough room.
      • Insurance companies should most certainly NOT be able to access that kind of info. It starts with this, but it is an EXTREMELY slippery slope once they smell money to be made.

        I mean, why stop with just how tired you might be (do you have any idea how many drivers are half asleep in the morning on the way to work?) why not also check to see if you've had alchohol or smoked weed within the past 24 hours, because you know, that might be an indicator of irresponsible behavior which in turn makes you a more dan

        • why not also check to see if you've had alchohol or smoked weed within the past 24 hours

          Absolutely. It would certainly stand to reason that someone who does drugs (perhaps regularly) is more likely to slip and get into a car while intoxicated than someone who never touches the stuff. Why shouldn't any particular factor that could be an indicator of your ability to operate a vehicle safely be considered?
      • "And yes, I'm talking about equipping cars with devices that can detect such crimes."

        Go on then, what devices are these?

        • Go on then, what devices are these?

          That's a very interesting and infromative point you raise. Please, allow me to elaborate.

          Let's see:
          -electronics can be added to the computers already build into vehicles that could detect and log rate of speed over a timeline, not to mention:
          --position of the steering wheel
          --application of brakes

          -Sensors could be added to the underside of the vehicle to determine the number and frequency of lane-changes (perhaps by using the reflective road markers as a referenc
          • Half asleep? Drunk?

            How does this kit relate to breaking the law? Swerving to avoid a pedestrian/dog/deer becomes an offence punishable by automatic ticket?

            You have to be able to prove that an offence has been committed, innocent until proved guilty.

            • by ambrosen (176977)
              Well, in the UK, Driving Without Due Care and Attentions (DWDCA) is an offence. I assume a similar law exists in most other countries.
              • Re:Privacy concerns (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Colin Smith (2679)
                Probably does, but in the UK a police officer makes the judgement of what constitutes due care and attention, then prosecutes you in a court where you can provide a defense. I don't believe artificial intelligence has advanced far enough that an automatic system is capable of making that determination.

  • by eingram (633624) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:27AM (#10583881)
    I used to drive a lot for long hours during the night. I would catch myself dozing off quite a bit..

    I'd then break out my digital camera and take pictures of the road, myself, buildings, etc. I'd also set it on my dashboard and do a long exposure image to catch the headlights of cars and city lights (for a cool streaking effect). I had a lot of fun and it kept me awake.

    Was it dangerous? Nah. I can operate my camera without looking at it really, so I was able to keep my eyes on the road (and keep them open).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Was it dangerous? Nah.

      Yes, if you're tired, and tired to the point that you're "dozing off quite a bit", then the legal (at least here in Sweden) and only right thing to do is to STOP DRIVING.

      Fiddling with something other than driving (be it taking snapshots, talking on the mobile phone, tuning the radio...) is not the proper response action to tiredness while driving. Taking a break and get some fresh air, or some sleep, is.

      In Swedish legislation, driving too tired is equal to driving under other negat
  • by Seumas (6865) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:29AM (#10583891)
    If there is something on the road that is a danger and the driver doesn't see, the car alerts the driver.

    Now, if only they can devise a way to keep 85 year olds who think that it's their god given right to drive until the day they die, from slamming on the gas and destroying buildings and killing pedestrians because they thought it was the break pedal - or driving into THROUGH AN AIRPORT because they thought you return your car at the Hertz inside the airport.
    • Now, if only they can devise a way to keep 85 year olds who think that it's their god given right to drive until the day they die, from slamming on the gas and destroying buildings and killing pedestrians because they thought it was the break pedal

      Heh, lots of people got stories like this, so I'll throw in mine. I know a girl that used to work in a big supermarket with an in-door garage. If you ever worked as a wrapper you know you sometimes go and help people get stuff in their car. A car was backing out
  • Hmmmmmmmmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by cloudkj (685320) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:29AM (#10583893)
    What if the driver's wearing sunglasses? Ha!
    • This is what I thought while watching "Minority Report".
      Remember when he walks into Gap and gets scanned automatically? It was retarded... sunglasses rejecting the lasers would be invented within months of some invasive technology like that.
      • Talking about Minority Report, it's absurd that Precrime didn't revoke his biometric key right after his escape, and didn't setup the system to issue an alert if he tried to get back into the facility.
        • by Sneftel (15416)
          So you think that in the future of Minority Report, HR departments are reasonable, well-organized, and responsive? It's sci-fi, man, not fantasy.
    • [ Corey Hart enters in a wheelchair ]

      Corey Hart: I'm Corey Hart.

      Female Senator: Good Lord! What happened to you?

      Corey Hart: I wore my sunglasses at night, and I ended up in a pretty serious car accident.
  • by LiENUS (207736) <slashdot.vetmanage@com> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:29AM (#10583894) Homepage
    I wonder how this determines what is a danger and whats not, does it detect any sudden change in the road such that a pothole or cones on the side would set it off or is it more specific in that only if you go off the road it works?
  • by sometwo (53041) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:30AM (#10583896)
    They'll use the video feed to figure out when you're in the car, and then *bang*.
  • Glasses? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by craigtay (638170)
    Will sun glasses make the whole thing break? Maybe even the glare from my regular glasses during a sunset, or sunrise could throw the whole thing off!
  • Better or Worse? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by N Monkey (313423) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:32AM (#10583905)
    I can't remember the exact figures but I heard that in the UK either "1 in 6" fatal accidents may be caused by falling asleep at the wheel. Certainly they've been advertising the dangers of driving while tired as much now as anti-drink-driving.

    Now I can see it could save a life if a so called "micro sleep" occured at the wheel but could it have the opposite effect? Would some people then try to drive longer thinking they have a safety net/alarm clock to wake them up if they drift off?

    • Re:Better or Worse? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tristan-jt2 (820528) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @04:02AM (#10584025) Homepage
      I remember seeing a documentary on TV a few years ago, can't remember if it was in the UK or in France.

      They had taken a dozen of drivers fitting a particular set of criteria. They had to be used to driving at night, and drive a certain mileage every week.

      They rigged them up with monitoring equipment, set a couple of night vision cameras in the car and sent them on their way.

      They had to drive a distance that was estimated to take about 4h.

      Once at the destination a team of boffins would ask them to fill in a questionaire about how they felt about the drive, whether they felt tired, etc.

      The results were simply scary:
      None of them had bothered to take a break.
      None of them declared having felt tired enough to feel they had to take a break.
      Yet their brain activity was showing numerous periods that looked like deep sleep for less than 5 seconds.
      On average these periods amounted to a whooping 6 minutes over the 4h of driving.
      On the videos you could just see the drivers blinking for a unusually long time.

      Having a system that detects that I'm blinking in a suspicious way, gets the driver seat to vibrate, and then sound an alarm if I don't open my eyes immediately would certainly not annoy me. I'd take the hint that I need to take the next exit and try to grab 1/2h of sleep.

      My sister fell asleep at the wheel once while on the motorway and told us that she had only blinked, only to open her eyes after feeling what she described as a bump.
      She took the next exit because she was feeling seriously tired and slightly puzzled about the "bump". Turned out she had hit the safety rail after drifting all the way over the fast lane.
    • "Would some people then try to drive longer thinking they have a safety net/alarm clock to wake them up if they drift off?"

      Next year's Darwin Awards should be exciting!
    • As far as the opposite effect, this is a know phenoma in driver safety;

      It is called risk compensation or behavioural adaptation, if you look at things like accident rates before and after seat belts have been made complusory you find that while fatalities for those in cars decrease it is not at the level predicted by statistics, and fatalities for pedestrians and cyclists acutally increase..

      Basically people feel safer so they drive faster/aren't as careful.

      The interesting thing is that the effect is stro
      • by Dave_M_26 (773236) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @05:32AM (#10584334)
        Basically people feel safer so they drive faster/aren't as careful.

        I always thought that an interesting experiment would be to remove the driver's seatbelt and fix a large spike to the steering wheel. I suspect the number of accidents would go down ;-)

        Dave

      • But in the case of ABS and wider roads wouldn't they actually be safer? I mean, I feel safer going fast around corners in my hatchback than I did in the minivan I used to drive, but that's because my hatchback actually corners better than the van. So could it be that people think the risk is less because it actually is less, at least in the "make the chance of an accident lower" category?
      • Basically people feel safer so they drive faster/aren't as careful.

        What's needed is a car which feels more unsafe to the driver than it actually is.

        The interesting thing is that the effect is strongest for safety changes that make the chance of an accident lower (e.g. ABS breaking) and weakest for things that just reduce the cost of an accident (e.g. Airbags).

        The problem with ABS is that it can become used as a performance, rather than safety, enhancement.
    • Maybe after the first alert it should start a 15 minute timer after which the car turns off, to force the person to rest.
  • Complacency (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tod_miller (792541) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:34AM (#10583911) Journal
    I do not mind having some driver alert system, but if it goes off too many times, too many false positives, then drivers may ignore it, yet at the same time, the very fact that it is there might make them more willing to distract thier attention from the road.

    So it gives you a false sense of security, but like all computer equiptment, you ignore it the seconed it gets too annoying.

    How many times has a car alarm gone off, and you rush outside to apprehend the thieves?

    This sounds too much like a tax funded project gone awry. Perhaps the car might have a failsafe mode if the triggers go too far? if the person doesn't hit an ok button in enough time, the car should slow calmly and require some special intervention to make sure the user is aware.

    Now any action on the part of a computer that would remove the human from the loop is not desirable, as this would mean a car might slow in the middle of a 5 lane intersection, or something stupid.

    But if humans take themselves out of the loop through complacency, then that is worse.
  • by xmark (177899) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:34AM (#10583912)
    How long before those cams are connected to some flash ram in the black box that's already installed in new cars, "strictly to assist safety research"? How long before someone (or some insurance company) sues to recover those images, to be used against the driver in a civil suit? How long before some lame-o legislature grants law enforcement a "right" to those images, probably citing a desire to "protect the children"? How long, in short, before the government has a digital videocam watching your every move while you drive your car? Think they'll only be interested in accident-related activities? I don't.

    Be afraid. The future is now, and it does not like you or your silly privacy rights.
  • by kagaku (774787) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:36AM (#10583920)
    ..but shouldn't it be the drivers responsibility to stay awake while driving? If you're tired enough that you need a camera to watch your eye movement to make sure you aren't falling asleep, should you really be driving?
  • Repeat with me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:38AM (#10583927)
    Social problems require social solutions, not technological band-aids. The reason we have so many sleepy drivers in the first place is a combination of bad urban planning that results in millions of people taking extra-long commutes, one person to a car, and erosion of labor rights that makes it possible for employers to overwork their employees and tire them.
  • It wont work! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Goth Biker Babe (311502) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:41AM (#10583938) Homepage Journal
    There's this psychological effect called risk compensation. It's been shown that the safe people believe they are the less careful they will be. So if you have mechanisms in your car to stop you from being stupid you'll actually be even more stupid that you would normally be and so the whole thing balances out.

    Here in the UK Volvo drivers have a bad name with motorcyclists. Why? Because they are very safe cars and so many Volvo drivers take less care than someone in a less safe car. But cars aren't the only thing on the road and it's all well and good you being safe in your car if you're involved in an accident but what about the other poor sod!

    Actually the best thing to make everyone drive safely and wear seat belts and the like is to put a spike in the centre of the steering wheel!
    • Re:It wont work! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by richie2000 (159732) <rickard.olsson@gmail.com> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @04:01AM (#10584022) Homepage Journal
      I totally agree. The trick would be to make people safer while making them believe they're in mortal danger. It's a game of visualising risks. Since they can see they're going to be two minutes late for that important meeting but can't see the broken down truck over the next hill or see themselves as pieces of decaying flesh at the roadside, they put the pedal to the metal.

      And this is why bikers in general (there are sadly a LOT of exceptions to this rule) are not as prone to accidents as people in general (the non-biking public, as it were) might imagine. We're too close to the road to not notice it rushing by at break-neck speeds. I believe it's best said in Zodiac [wikipedia.org] where a bicyclist, all dressed up in black, is asked why he doesn't have any lights or flourescent clothing and he responds with "For that to work, I'd have to assume every motorist around me is wide awake, sober and not trying to kill me. That's stupid. I pretend there's a million dollar bounty on my head and everyone's trying to hit me. It's my responsibility to make sure they don't." and there's a certain amount of truth in it. That and the spike works for me. :-)

      • For that to work, I'd have to assume every motorist around me is wide awake, sober and not trying to kill me. That's stupid. I pretend there's a million dollar bounty on my head and everyone's trying to hit me. It's my responsibility to make sure they don't.

        I think that's good advice, not just for bikers. I drive my car like that too. You have to be looking everywhere as who can say where danger will come from?

        I've avoided five certain rear-end collisions alone over the span of my driving just from ass
  • by MartijnL (785261) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:43AM (#10583950)
    The new Citroën C5 (http://www.citroen.co.uk/) has a lane departure warning system that detects if the car is leaving it's lane (like if when the driver has nodded off and there is a bend in the road). It only warns when the driver crosses the white line however so collision detection is still a way to go.
  • Bad move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Underholdning (758194) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @03:45AM (#10583961) Homepage Journal
    Pretty neat technology
    What? This is not neat. This is a step backwards. If drivers gets accustomed that their car will alert them if they're about to hit something, it will probably encourage them to contiue that extra hour of unsafe driving.
    • Agreed. There are gimicks out there, gadgets and such.

      For example, I have a whistler 1753C radar detector. It has a function of "testing alerness"...doesn't really work though because you have to engage it to "test yourself".

      It does sometimes jolt me back to reality though, if my mind was off dreaming of something else while i'm behind the wheel. Thats its only saving grace.

      and yes, I know its not going to save me from a ticket, so I drive reasonably. Its just that I like to know when I'm under surva
    • What? This is not neat. This is a step backwards. If drivers gets accustomed that their car will alert them if they're about to hit something, it will probably encourage them to contiue that extra hour of unsafe driving.

      I've been saying that for years. If a fornicator believes that they will not get pregnant/STDs, it will probably encourage them to continue that reprehensible exchange of bodily fluids. Down with condoms!
  • I'd just wear those glasses with the bulging eyeballs on the front. Just try to stop me from sleeping while I'm driving!

    What next!?!?!? No sleeping in class?!?!? How far can this narcophobia extend!
  • "A German company called Bosch." WTF?

    In other news, an automobile manufacturer called "Chrysler."

    Damn these new fangled companies popping up everywhere, why in MY day...oh never mind.
  • If the camera sees something the driver doesn't, probably a beep or something will go off in the car. And as we all know, those cameras won't be 100% full proof, making unnecessary, false positive beeps all the time, irritating the driver who turns off the system after using it for 2 days or so. I'm not going to buy this as I think the immense flood of false positives will make this system very useless.
  • I suppose those devices from "Clockwork Orange" should work better. Dang, how is a digicam supposed to image anything when you are sitting in the dark?
  • but what about those sensors they have on the stair machines? Why not place those types of sensores onto the steering wheel to measure your phsyiological state. When your heart rate drops a bit, or sudden changes in your breathing occur it could make a sound or something. It'd have to be worked out to not respond when you have a 'near miss' and your body goes into over drive, but I think it'd be much more effective.
  • I thought the title said something about "sleazy drivers". Time for bed.
  • by EkkiEkkiShiwaddle (823778) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @04:37AM (#10584144)
    Allthough I'm all in favour of stashing each and every car out there with as much devices to increase safety, each time I read an article like this I still have my doubts.

    The problem with all these safety features is that people feel too safe in their cars.

    Going to fast? My wonderfull ABS system will bring me to a halt no matter what. Accelerating beyond my limits? Why, ASC will keep me on track. DSC will keep me on the road in those nasty corners. The new Citroen C5 has that nifty lane departure alert system, so why would I even keep my hands on the wheel, my car'll tell me when I'm flying off the road just in time!

    Ok, ok, maybe I'm exagerating things a bit here, but you wouldn't believe the number of people that actually believe this stuff (or at least appear to be driving as if they believe it).

    IMHO, the driver is and should always be responsible for his/her car, not some autopilot. People should be made aware of the risks of ignoring these systems more, than they should be made aware of situations they should've seen for themselves.

    Know the limits of yourself. Know the limits of your car. If you go beyond either of those, no system out there now nor in future will keep you on the road.

  • by peterpi (585134) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @04:38AM (#10584149)
    Sure, this may be "Pretty neat technology", but not driving when you're tired is pretty neat too.

    The amount of technology designed to let the car driver fall asleep is terrifying to those who actually have something to loose from an accident.

  • by kickdown (824054) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @04:42AM (#10584163)
    Damn, you wont ever convince a girl to do a blowjob in your car when she sees a camera.
  • I could see this useful if it was a portable device...maybe for my business classes? One camera focused on my instructor, one on my eyes. If he looks at me when I'm alseep, alert me to pay attention (until the next time he looks away).
  • check head tilt (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ufnoise (732845)
    If you are concerned about people falling asleep, it might be easier/cheaper to attach a sensor to detect when the driver's head tilts forward. If the driver is otherwise easily distracted, perhaps he/she shouldn't be allowed to drive at all.
  • The idea behind this article is completely wrong. If you're tired at the wheel you DO NOT need a bit of technology telling you to wake up. You need to STOP DRIVING before you fucking kill someone.

    And if you're not aware of what's going on on the road in the first place you should not be driving AT ALL. You should be a passenger in a vechile driven by a competent driver.

    But along the same lines...

    I've always thought a good idea for the use of digital cameras would be for each vechile to be fitted with f
  • by lxt (724570) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @06:37AM (#10584575) Journal
    There was an article about drivers falling asleep in a UK paper a few days back - some of the more (worrying?) ways drivers have tried to not fall asleep included a air hostess who trapped her hair in the sun roof, so when she would fall asleep the sharp pain in her head would wake her up again, and another man who attached pins around an elastic band on his wrist...
  • by Puls4r (724907) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:42AM (#10585073)
    No thanks. This scares me just like the data-recording units in some new cars. If you don't think the data is going to be stored for people to reference - 'Insurance company / police / etc', then I think you're off base.

    The folks talking about automatic driving systems are also pretty unrealistic. Vision systems in use in manufacturing environments are notriously touchy and difficult to keep running, even with proper illumination and constrat control.

    This will be used as a law enforcement tool. Those people who stop driving when they grow tired will continue to do so, and those that don't will disable the system and continue to drive, just like folks who refuse to wear seatbelts disable the idiot bell and light.

    Again, no thanks.
  • by crovira (10242) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:52AM (#10585952) Homepage
    Now THAT would be helpful technology.

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