Eye-Tracking Technology to Be Adopted By General Motors

There's a general rule that says new technologies will be adopted by the public only if they're easier to use than to ignore. Near field communication (NFC), Wi-Fi connectivity and mobile payment services come to mind, but have you thought about what's the next big automotive tech break?
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Seeing Machines of Australia says that eye and head-tracking technologies represent the next step in this domain. According to a recent report published by CNBC citing unnamed sources, General Motors will be the first customer that'll adopt this sci-fi tech to its future model lineup.

"Safety doesn't sell cars - sexy sells cars. But once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes…. Eye and head tracking technology is the next step in automotive safety, which we expect to play a significant role in the reduction of one of the greatest causes of accidents: driver distraction." explains Seeing Machines CEO Ken Kroeger.

The Australian company has reportedly teamed up with Takata, the maker of those faulty airbag triggers that prompted BMW to recall nearly all E46 3 Series ever made, to research, develop and eventually commercialize the tech. Even though it isn't a finished product yet, eye and head-tracking technology employs cameras and/or sensors fitted in the cabin which monitor the driver's eye and head movement.

If the system senses that the driver's eyes are closed for more than a few seconds or if his or her head spent too much time in an awkward position, then the system activates an audible alarm to wake the driver up before something bad happens. This fatigue monitoring system has been adopted by some mining equipment and semi-trailer truck manufacturers, so it's doable for the auto industry as well.

However, only time will tell if privacy concerns over those suite of cameras throughout the cabin will put drivers off. The aforementioned publication informs that Seeing Machines' technology will not keep or transmit recorded information to others, at least initially.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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