A technology company called Affectiva has developed advanced facial recognition software which could be used by a host of cars in the future.
The company’s product manager, Abdelrahman Mahmoud, recently told CNET that vehicles which are able to monitor the emotions of drivers will have the ability to soothe drivers when they’re angry and frustrated and alert them when distracted. Things could also go a lot further.
If used in autonomous vehicles, facial recognition software could work out the best way to hand over control to a human driver in emergency scenarios and even alter its driving style if the onboard computers sense that a passenger is fearful. If they’re confused or frightened, the vehicle could reassure them by display the route it is taking and its final destination.
Affectiva has developed its system using the front-facing camera of a smartphone that is able to identify 33 different facial landmarks. The system’s deep learning of over 5 million facial expressions is then able to determine the face a person is making. The system can also detect seven different emotions, including surprise, joy and fear.
The company says it is working with both German and Japanese automakers to introduce the technology to the road and should have a prototype ready in 2018.
Ford has also said it is developing similar technology.