It's possible that alcohol-detection technology that could eventually become standard equipment in all new motor vehicles. Yet, scientists based in Switzerland are working on the development of technology that could gauge the emotional state of mind of an individual before they take the wheel.
This technology has the ability read facial expressions and determine which of the seven universal emotions a person is demonstrating. Those emotions include: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise, or suspicion. Currently, this technology is being used for the development of video games, medicine, marketing and driver safety.
Emotional, distracted and fatigued driving can have similar results to driving under the influence (DUI). In Tempe, Phoenix or other communities in Maricopa County, it is important that you consult Arizona lawyers experienced in DUI and related offenses like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.
Swiss researchers are aware that in addition to fatigue, the emotional state of a driver can be a risk factor in safe driving scenarios. Research has shown that irritation may make drivers may lead to aggressive and less attentive driving practices.
Swiss researchers from Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) University in collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroën, reported the development of an on-board emotion detector that analyzes the facial expressions exhibited by the person behind the wheel. Tests carried out using a prototype of the detector have shown that it could have promising applications involving driving safety.
According to recent reports, researchers have adapted a facial detection device that uses an infrared camera located behind the steering wheel. Keeping in mind that everyone expresses themselves in somewhat different manners the team that spearheaded the research decided to track only the expressions of anger and disgust.
Initially, the system was able to learn how to identify those emotions through the use of a series of pictures of subjects expressing those emotions. The next step was to use videos portraying those emotions. The images that were used were taken both in an office setting, as well as in real life situations, in a vehicle. Although still a prototype, the system accurately detected irritation in the majority of situations. Test fail were the result of irritation being variable from one individual to another individual.
“This is where the difficulty will always lie, given the diversity of how we express anger. Additional research aims to explore updating the system in real-time, to complement the static database, a self-taught human-machine interface, or a more advanced facial monitoring algorithm,” a researcher explained.
The detection of emotions is only one indicator for the improvement of driver safety and comfort. The other indicator is a fatigue detector that measures the percentage of eyelid closure.
Researchers are also working on detecting other states on the faces of drivers such as distraction and on lip reading for use in vocal recognition. These projects are coordinated by EPFL's Transportation Center and carried out in collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroën.
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