Cars creep closer to autonomy, GM to install Seeing Machines

America's roadways have become a lot more dangerous within the past decade. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 36 states have implemented speed limits of 70 mph or higher on certain interstate highways. In 2012, Texas became the first state to pass an 85 mph limit.

Further, the launch of the modern day cellphone has resulted in an increase in distracted driving accidents. The most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation reveal that over 387,000 people were injured in car accidents in 2011. In 2012, that number rose to 420,000. Today, that number is even higher.

Fortunately, efforts to mitigate auto accidents are continuously in the works. Automotive manufactures, in particular, have created vehicle technology to help reduce car accidents that occur all across the nation. Rearview backup camera technology and even electronic control modules are among the list of initiatives.

The latest efforts involve the use of Seeing Machines' technology.

Seeing Machines' detection tech

According to the Financial Times, General Motors has signed a contract with a maker of computer vision technology called Seeing Machines, devices that track and interpret signals from the driver's human eyes and face. The technology aims to combat distracted driving incidents or driver fatigue by reading a driver's facial and eye movements and then notifying them about the potential dangers associated.

Approximately 500,000 vehicles set to be manufactured by GM within the next 5 years will come equipped with the Seeing Machine devices.

Other eye detection technology

Some automakers have already implemented eye detection technology. Mercedes-Benz has installed "Attention Assist" in over a dozen of its models. Essentially, once a driver begins driving, Attention Assist immediately scans roughly 70 different parameters of that particular driver's driving patterns. The technology then notifies the driver of potential dangers if it detects dissimilar steering patterns of that driver the technology hasn't already documented.

The wave of the future

Due to an increase in drowsy driving, texting behind the wheel, and the use of GPS devices, driver error-particularly among teens-is the cause of so many auto accidents today. Cellphone makers have attempted to help mitigate such accidents by manufacturing hands-free devices, but so far, there is no concrete data that shows this initiative is working.

It's possible that someday, autonomous vehicles will be commonplace and eliminate the need to worry about distracted driving or other driver-type errors, but such autonomy could take many years.

Until then, car manufacturers like GM are doing what they can to help prevent unnecessary auto accidents that continue to rise every year in the United States.

  • super lawyers
  • AV preeminent TM | Martindale Hubbell lawyers ratings
  • Listed in Best lawyers | The world's premier guide