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New Facial Recognition Software May Detect Looming Road Rage 133

cartechboy writes "Well, since we have license plate readers tracking drivers, and GPS breaking down we're you're headed — its probably time for someone to know what mood you're in when you're driving. (Quick hint: often not a good one). Researchers at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have prototyped a dashboard camera that tracks facial movements and expressions to read a person's emotions while behind the wheel. The team has partnered with PSA Peugeot Citroën to create a version for actual cars to determine when drivers are angry — and have high potential for road rage. One challenge for the technology has been the wide range of expressions drivers have when they're pissed. Some people smile, for example. (Maybe as they raise their middle finger.) The engineers are working on future revs to be able to tell when drivers are fatigued or even just distracted." The detection part sounds interesting; coupled with remote kill-switches that some government agencies want, and ever deeper fly-by-wire technologies, it's sounds downright dystopian, though.
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New Facial Recognition Software May Detect Looming Road Rage

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  • Man, technology that tells me how to be gets me so angry I'd probably rip the damn iPhone out its socket and throw it out the window.
    And that actually would settle me back down.
    At least until I got a ticket for littering.
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:45PM (#46517677)

    Why don't you take a stresstab and lie down for awhile.

    I'll just slow the car down in the meantime.

    • Why don't you take a stresstab and lie down for awhile.

      I'll just slow the car down in the meantime.

      But I am stressed because the axe murder is chasing me!

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I'd like to see a remake where Dave goes into a rage after being locked out, and bleeps up Hal beyond all recognition. For example, pull the chips out of sequence, and make the now-retarded Hal into a toaster and burn the toast to high hell, and then put it in the sink and let water slowly fill it. "Daisey's need water, Hal. Doesn't your lame tune database know that?"

  • by travdaddy ( 527149 ) <travo.linuxmail@org> on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:47PM (#46517691)
    Kill switches for when drivers get angry? If you thought gridlock was bad now, just wait until 50 angry stalled drivers are in front of you.
    • Kill switches for when drivers get angry? If you thought gridlock was bad now, just wait until 50 angry stalled drivers are in front of you.

      That would shut off my car quite quickly... :)

    • "Police report a drastic increase in people shooting their own cars." - Associated Press
    • If in front of me there were 50 stalled drivers blocking the road, it might make me angry.

      The driver in front of me might have had 49 stalled drivers blocking the road.

  • ... that's my "O face". Siri, hand me a tissue.
  • by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:53PM (#46517783)

    So someone gets cut off. They get mad. Then the system auto-controlls or shuts the car down.
    Then the person gets even madder.
    And as they cannot even chase the original cause will then just open up on the traffic flow in general.

    I don't see this fixing anything unless it autoinjects some nice drugs.

    • Amen. If you want to detect impending road rage, find a way to detect shitty drivers. You can probably base that on car behavior (that is, what the vehicle is doing) and you won't need to recognize faces or guess at human behavior at all.

      • It doesn't have to be a kill switch. It could be something more subtle, like cap your speed at 55mph. The thing is no matter what they end up doing, if the car reacts to you getting suddenly angry in any way that will just serve to increase your road rage.

        Injecting xanax would further inhibit your ability to drive, and let us not forget that for most people "happyness drugs" are highly addictive. It would serve no one if people were to develop a habit of getting into their car and getting really angry just

  • "and GPS breaking down we're you're headed "
    equate to:
    "and GPS breaking down we are you are headed "

  • and GPS breaking down we're you're headed

    If they're as reliable as Slashdot's automated grammar screening I don't have much faith in the technology

  • Shut up already. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @02:07PM (#46517925)

    The detection part sounds interesting; coupled with remote kill-switches that some government agencies want, and ever deeper fly-by-wire technologies, it's sounds downright dystopian, though.

    Jee, hyperbole much? Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that there will be any dystopian government interaction. That was your own shitty opinion piece. Its the same crap the article postulates:

    The real question is: when the Swiss team's camera detects anger or disgust, what will it do? Notify the authorities? Apply the car's brakes? Switch the radio to soothing music? Tell knock-knock jokes? What's the appropriate response?

    Stop it. Please. Those are some of the most idiotic question ever asked. The car wont do anything as this wont be installed in them. Why not? Simple: there are no answers for any of those silly questions that would avoid a legal minefield.

    Driver is angry and car detects it. So the car notifies the authorities.
    - Authorities don't care enough about some butthurt driver to stop looking for speeders which make the county/city/town money. Besides after the 1000th notification of road rage in the first ten minutes of their highway patrol shift they will just turn the damn computer off.

    Driver is angry and car detects it. So the car applies the brakes......
    - Causing the driver to lose control or a rear end collision. Car manufacturer is sued into oblivion. Camera recalled.

    Driver is angry and car detects it. So the car switches the radio to soothing music....
    - Which distracts the driver causing an accident. Or the driver can blame a road rage accident on the sudden blast of Michael Bolton which startled them while enjoying a beautiful morning on the highway in bumper to bumper traffic. Car manufacturer is sued into oblivion. Camera recalled.

    Not so serious but:
    Driver is angry and car detects it. So the car tells a knock knock joke....
    Driver is offended by joke along with a concerned watchdog group. Public outrage ensues. Camera recalled.

    What's the appropriate response?
    None. People will get angry. Its better to just let them scream or pound the steering wheel and let it out and then have a laugh. If it results in an accident and the drivers anger can be directly linked to the accident then let the courts decide the appropriate punishment.

    • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @02:47PM (#46518335) Journal

      I remember reading about nano-technology years ago in a car magazine. One use for this was that you could have the paint on your car change color. So you didn't have to worry about getting an appropriate colored car because you could change the color of your car any time you wanted.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, new for 2017--The Mood Car!

      That's right! Sensors will detect your mood and change the color of your car! Angry? Your car turns a flaming red. Calm and relaxed? A nice deep blue. So if I cut off some other guy and see his car turn red, I know I'd better get out of there!

  • Next thing you know your TV will detect when you're raging and change the channel.

    • by wcrowe ( 94389 )

      Fox News would go out of business.

      • Are you kidding? Fox News/MSNBC/Democracy Now etc are all niches for people who can't stand to see anything not conforming to their world view.

        • by wcrowe ( 94389 )

          True, but their world view is mostly about being angry at someone or something. The shows on those channels, and the way stories are presented, are specifically designed to get people angry and upset. The viewers are comfortable in their anger. They embrace it, and look forward to more of it. It's a kind of madness, I think.

  • defeats all the facial recognition software, which already has a high failure rate.

    Basically, if it worked in WW II or in Korea, it still works.

    Welcome to Eastern Germany, Amerikka!

  • A solution in search of a problem. With driverless cars on the verge of being a reality, road rage will become a thing of the past.

  • If yelling "get off your F-ing phone and drive" a lot while driving qualifies as road rage, I could be in trouble with a system like this.
  • It's already been tried, but it didn't work out so well. []

  • How about getting bad drivers off of the roads altogether. We all make mistakes here and there, but some people are very aggressive jerks and they need to go. They cause traffic problems, backups, accidents, and roadrage. I don't defend roadrage at all ever, but humans are humans. I get tense seeing people break the law and getting away with it. Almost anyone can be provoked into some kind of angry reaction, and some people unfortunately act on that anger. I would like to remove the root causes of the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    OK, I have that sort of face. Blame it on genes or too much time indoors, but when I'm not thinking about anything in particular -- happy even -- I look angry.

    I was with a group of friends once, enjoying the beach, when someone asked me why I looked so angry.

    I was sitting at a Chuck E. Cheesy watching my daughter once, and some other parent said, "Buddy, you gotta take it easy."

    Said daughter drew a picture of me once. I looked like I was scowling. Why, kid? That's the way you always look, Daddy.

    So I got th

  • That happens to me every time my face is half covered in blood and I pick up a rocket launcher.

    This tech should be used to make a nice car HUD. HUD needs a doom guy's face in the middle of it, of course! The way he constantly snoops on the left and right would entice the driver to pay about his surroundings. Funny stuff like the pissed off face (has left and right looking variants) with hurt groan would happen when you have bumps on the road and mild collisions, and two nice screams are built-in that can be

  • It would be cool if this technology could be coupled with exterior signs on the car. If I'm pissed, it would be great if the car could save me the trouble of giving the finger to the people around me, and just show a giant middle finger signal to the motorists around me.

  • That's my answer to this technology.
  • "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore" .

  • When you are too angry, your car will die, troopers will fast-rope onto it from their ornithopter, hit you with sick sticks and halo you while your fluids fly from every orifice... That is, if the AdWords for the latest hypnotic from Pfizer flashing across your windshield didn't calm you down first.

  • What is likely to be the accuracy of this system? Even a 99% accurate system would be fairly useless. Say you get 1 rager per day out of 100 000 drivers. Over 100 days (about 3 months), it will properly flag 99 people and miss one. But during the same period would flag 1000 people per day who aren't raging or dangerous.

    It's the same every time someone says they can "detect" a rare event out of a completely random sample, whether it is mass screening for rare diseases or conditions, terrorists or road rage.

  • Seriously, with all the self absorbed drivers on the road these days all trying to get to the same place at the same time, I want the Sweet Tooth options on my next car. [] Cut me off?!?! It's the flaming ice cream buddy!

    With fewer officers on the highways and all the dumb ass maneuvers that people pull, it still seems incomprehensible that people don't get why "road rage" exists. I'm all for free choice but acting like an asshole on the roads means you'll probably get an asshole response. It's just human

  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @06:27PM (#46520057) Journal

    It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself -- anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

    -- Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:57PM (#46521831)

    Some people smile, for example.


    Many people suffering from road rage are bat-shit crazy. I've seen people trying to cause accidents. And I've nearly been run off the road a few times by them myself. Overwhelmingly, they are laughing or have a silly grin on their face. Perhaps because they thought they caused (or nearly caused) someone else some grief.

    On the other hand, I recall an interesting incident from some years ago. I was in heavy traffic on an on ramp merging onto the freeway at a crawl. Traffic was (generally) alternating between ramp and freeway, every other car. I pulled in front of a dump truck. In my rear view mirror, I watched the guy behind me gun his SUV and try to make it between the dump truck and a jersey barrier. Not enough room, he got caught between the two. Then, he gunned his engine and squeezed through, tearing the hell out of his truck. So I'm watching him (behind me now) in my rear view mirror, grinning because he had just screwed the dump truck out of one position on the freeway. Sheet metal on what was (a few moments ago) a nice truck, hanging off the sides.

  • demand a jury trail and in the case push any case of an system that can read some of being off start with voice recognition

  • I suggest that the car's outside color changes according to the driver's mood.

    Sleepy driver = night blue
    Nervous driver = pulsing bright red
    Relax driver = apple green with dark green waves
    Raging driver = blood red with yellow dots

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin