Pretty soon, it’s likely that cars will be doing our driving for us (see Google’s self-driving car). While we’re still behind the wheel, however, automakers seem to be trying to use technology to make driving as foolproof as possible.
Toyota is currently working on technology that would allow a car to determine a driver’s mood and provide safety alerts depending on this assessment. An angry or distracted driver, the theory goes, is less likely to notice hazardous situations, such as stopped traffic or a child running into the road.
The technology would register the driver’s facial emotions based on 238 points on the person’s face, recognizing moods event if the subject is wearing sunglasses or has a beard. Depending on the mood detected, the car would issue safety reminders if necessary.
Toyota has been working on the technology since 2006, but the automaker has not yet given a set timetable for when the system could come to market. According to Jonas Ambeck, Toyota’s senior manager for advanced technology, some of the elements of the technology could be available within six years.