Eye tracking in Cars: Big Brother rides with you
The growing demand for a more digitalized experience leads companies in the sector to incorporate a greater technological offer in their cars and to sell as means of safety and convenience.
According to several investigations, 76% of these companies invest in emerging technologies related to monitoring human actions and performance while driving their cars.
One of the technologies that is already included in some models is ‘eye tracking’, which is already being used in many areas of life, with different applications.
In fact, some international studies suggest that the global eye tracking market will grow 27.4% annually until 2025.
Eye-tracking technology is used in driver monitoring systems and is presented as a great tool to prevent accidents. When fully developed, sensors in cars will be able to decide whether a driver is in good condition to drive or not based on readings from pupils, body heat, heart rate and other measurements.
The aim, car companies say, is to create increasingly safe vehicles, the combination of facial recognition and eye-tracking technology allows information on driver’s attention, alertness and driving concentration to be collected and monitored at all times.
The objective is that the car can generate warnings if necessary, but there are models that already prevent someone to take a trip anywhere, locking itself in position and disabling the car so the driver cannot move the vehicle.
Thanks to the heat maps that are generated, with which it is discovered where the driver is looking, onboard computers can identify the elements that cause distraction or alert states while driving.
This system also plays an important role in possible interfaces controlled by the gaze, as well as in augmented reality systems, which can give us more information about what we are looking at.
Software manufacturers – such as Irisbond – or brands such as Lexus, Jaguar, Subaru, BMW, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Volvo and Volkswagen also offer this technology to their customers both to unlock the vehicle and to detect facial expressions and movements of the head that indicate an onset of fatigue or some drowsiness.
And how does it work? Everything is based on tracking the driver’s face and facial gestures. Irisbond technology consists of an external device that emits infrared light in the form of flashes on the cornea of the user.
The system is connected to a computer, and the combination of algorithms and control programs allow the car’s computer to track them.