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Will our future cars detect and act upon our road rage?

Posting in Transportation

We are seeing the emergence of connected cars, Wi-Fi, media streaming and sensors that tell you when obstacles or potential hazards are on the road -- but will our future vehicles also tell us when we need to calm down?

It may sound sci-fi, but once upon a time, having Internet access in your car was also something of fantasy.

Now, a team from Swiss technical school Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) has developed an in-car emotion detector which can tell when we are heading towards the state of road rage.

After teaming up with automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, the team invented an emotion detector which uses an infrared camera that can detect a driver's stress levels. In particular, emotions related to anger or disgust are of interest as markers of "road rage" -- where anger has the potential of getting in the way of safe driving.

If road rage is detected, the system can then work "to limit a vehicle's speed, or flash and sound a warning [..] to calm down," according to Gizmodo.

The device, which would be installed close to the steering wheel, is still under development. As we demonstrate anger in different ways, accuracy is a major barrier, and would need to be much improved before any kind of commercial testing could be undertaken.

Read on: Huffington Post

Image credit: Flickr

— By on March 18, 2014, 5:35 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure