Toyota recently revealed its latest high-tech safety measure for cars made in the next decade or so; a mood sensing gadget, which will be able to determine the driver’s emotional state. The manufacturer has been researching and developing this technology for more than six years, however up until recently the idea was theoretical rather than practical. They have now created a working model and installed it into a Toyota car, however the system will not be mass produced for another 5 or more years.
The mood sensor system is able to detect a total of 238 points on the face of the driver; the measurements of these points are taken, and are then used to establish the mood of the driver. Based on the driver’s emotion, the system will take the appropriate action. For instance, an upset or angry driver may be too distracted to notice things like a person crossing the road, and is therefore more likely to hit someone with their car than a driver who is in a neutral or calm state. The mood sensor can detect the emotion almost immediately, and so help to prevent accidents from occurring. The system is also able to determine which direction the person driving the car is facing, and can alert the driver to a potential hazard which may be located where the they not looking.
The technology used for the mood sensor will function even when the driver’s face is slightly obscured, by a heavy beard, a hat or sunglasses. Toyota have also said that this system is being perfected so that it can recognise the actions of the driver, such as using the radio or talking on their phone; this recognition ability will allow the device to warn the driver to remain focused on the road when they become distracted by other tasks.
One of the leading developers of this technology at Toyota, named Jonas Ambeck, has commented that although the system is still in the early stages of development, there should be elements of it being installed in the company’s cars very soon.
Toyota is not the only automotive manufacturer who is working on the introduction of emotion-monitoring technology; Audi are also said to be in the midst of developing this detection technology, which will be able to adjust the car and warn the driver of any hazards, should they become distracted.