People, distracted driving needs to end. Now. A woman's butt was impaled by a metal pole because she was texting while driving. Seriously, this needs to stop. But how? How do you get people to put their phones down and focus on managing the 4,000-pound hulk of steel they're hurtling along at 70 miles per hour in? Well, General Motors may have found an answer.

Financial Times is reporting on a deal between Australian firm Seeing Machines and Takata to supply the General with 500,000 eye- and head-tracking cameras that will be fitted to vehicles over a three- to five-year period. According to FT, the cameras measure the rotation of the driver's head, eye blinks and other metrics to make sure they're paying enough attention to the road and their mirrors, limiting a driver's ability to get distracted.

While the potential for safety improvements is quite obvious, there could be a number of other benefits to the new cameras, as well.

"Safety doesn't sell cars – sexy sells cars," Ken Kroeger, Seeing Machines' chief executive told FT. "But once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes."

That could, according to Kroeger, include sight-activated features, where the driver's line of sight could be monitored, and at the press of a steering wheel button, something is activated. Yes, you could stealthily activate your passenger's heated seats on a humid summer's day simply by looking at the button. More practically, the cameras could also prevent unauthorized users from starting a vehicle, dealing a devastating blow to car theft.

It's all sounds quite intriguing. What are your thoughts? Will more cameras help curb distracted driving? Would you even want more cameras in your car? Have your say in Comments.


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  • 26 Comments
      ELG
      • 3 Months Ago

      can they combat annoying millenial hipsters with beards and ironic sunglasses?


      the world would be a better place

      sloturbo
      • 3 Months Ago

      Distracted Driving should be handled like Drunk Driving was handled in the 80-90s here is the US. It took bold steps like super steep fines, revoking of driving privileges, jail time and for some getting a criminal record to get people to stop doing it. It also targeted the high schools and colleges and it seemed to make the point. We still have the issue of DD, but it is certainly less than it once was.

        jebibudala
        • 3 Months Ago
        @sloturbo

        I agree, drivers should be charged more frequently with 1st degree murder and attempted murder when they choose to operate their phone at a higher priority than the weapon they're driving.  If they killed someone, they did so with purpose.

        Larry Litmanen
        • 3 Months Ago
        @sloturbo

        How do you prove i was really thinking about juicy patty melt with cheese on a rye bread rather than the road ahead?


        Again, why spend billions on TV ads and classes and everything else when we can spend only a few million on giving the car more censors and ability to take over if needed.


        Dude, most people are idiots, education will not work, it's pointless. You can not teach someone not to do something the person already knows not to do.

          libertedelacroix
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen

          I don't believe that.  Not that people aren't stupid, but educating them goes a long way.  And that doesn't mean classroom sit downs on drunk driving you senior year in high school.  It means bringing actual victims who lost someone to talk about it.  Once it becomes culturally ingrained, it will be reduced a lot more.  Sensors are not a long term solution.

        Kurt
        • 3 Months Ago
        @sloturbo

        How about... if the car detects (by seating sensors) that there is only one person (driver), then it enables a beacon that disables SMS operation on the phone. Obviously, the phone manufactures would have to be involved as well.

      Stephen Donaldson
      • 3 Months Ago

      Another gadget I dont' want nor do I want to pay for.


      Never mind that such cameras could even be eventually used to spy on you as NHTSA already wants to have cars "report" to other cars.  (I wouldn't put it past NHTSA to even want these to "report" to the government too.)

      Just because you can build something, doesn't mean you should.

      And the long term dangers of mission creep are real.


      www.motorists.org

      www.banthecams.org

      camerafraud on Facebook

      bethany.omalley
      • 3 Months Ago

      "...you could stealthily activate your passenger's heated seats on a humid summer's day simply by looking at the button." - Why not go ahead and incorporate an ejector seat for the nagging mother-in-law?

      beanrew
      • 3 Months Ago

      The above image demonstrates in more ways than one that I think we've reached peak beard.

      granylvsredskins
      • 3 Months Ago

      I have a far more simple way to avoid it, have phones that would only operate when the phone knows it is not in a moving car ! have some kind of sensor that can tell when it is in a car being driving and it would only work via a blue tooth for calls only. no text all texting disabled 

        attila the hun
        • 3 Months Ago
        @granylvsredskins

        it will never happen, it makes to much sense, we live in a stupid country.

      lrx301
      • 3 Months Ago


      GM, if you want to driver focus on driving, don't add any of this nonsense machines, just get rid off the infotainment screen from the car.

      KaptnKauto
      • 3 Months Ago *Edited*

      Oh boy, I can hear the privacy experts now... 

      But really, does this open up recording what the driver was doing when an accident happens? 

      Slippery slope to big brother.

      It should be the phone companies that detect and prevent texting while driving.  

      Arthur Wilson
      • 3 Months Ago

      This article has some rather scary ramifications! 

      It could get to the point where they monitor how loud your music is, if your windows are open an it's a bit rainy out, windscreen wiper speed compared to precipitation that day... 

      I've got black box insurance and that already feels intrusive enough, let alone in-vehicle eye tracking! 

      Road safety should start on the roads - how many street lights have been turned out recently as councils try and cut costs? 

      Greg
      • 3 Months Ago

      Ignoring the the undesirable cost increase and obvious privacy concerns, what actions could a system like this even safely perform to force the driver to start paying attention again?


      Limiting vehicle control/functions of a distracted driver seems like a terrific way to expose yourself to a windfall of legal liability. What options does that leave? Play an annoying chime? Anyone determined to text and drive will just disable or ignore it the same way people do the seatbelt warnings.

      kontroll
      • 3 Months Ago

      I thought Amish are not allowed to drive cars

      lmg
      • 3 Months Ago


      i thought this was America! keep that junk off my car and hold the idiots accountable for their actions.

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