Distracted driving spied in rear-view
You look in the mirror right now, but in future the mirror might look back at you. Automotive supplier Magna, based in Ontario, has announced a new Driver Monitoring System that looks for distracted driving.
The system is integrated into a vehicle's rear-view mirror, and uses camera-based technology to monitor the driver. It looks at the head, eye and body movement. It detects if a driver is distracted and isn't looking at the road and can also detect signs of drowsiness or fatigue. It accounts for valid reasons to not look ahead, such as when the driver glances at the side mirrors. If distraction is detected, the driver receives customizable alerts, either audible or visible.
Magna said putting the system into the mirror “provides the best unobstructed view to the driver” and also offers a vantage point for monitoring other occupant features, which could include seatbelt use, the presence of a child, or identifying specific passengers for preference memory settings in the vehicle. The company said the system is market ready, although it didn't mention if any automakers have shown interest in incorporating it into their cars.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designates April as Distracted Driving Month, and said distracted driving has become a leading cause of crashes and fatalities. It estimates that 3,142 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2019 as a result of distracted driving.