DriverSense technology now detects phone usage and smoking while driving

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AI company Eyesight Technologies has announced new features for its DriverSense and FleetSense solutions to detect driver distraction as a result of cell phone usage and smoking. The new features will be added to the company’s existing distraction and drowsiness detection capabilities to further mitigate driver distractions and prevent accidents.

Eyesight Technologies’ DriverSense driver monitoring system (DMS) analyzes the driver’s facial features, including head pose, gaze vector, blink rate and eye openness, to detect signs of drowsiness and distraction. The latest update increases the scope of the driver monitoring to extend beyond physical attributes of the driver to recognize driver actions, meaning the technology can now detect the smoking of a cigarette and cell phone-related distractions. The new capabilities enable car manufacturers to intelligently alert the driver based on the type of distraction detected; cell phone usage may trigger one type of alert while showing signs of drowsiness can trigger a more urgent response.

Distracted driving is responsible for 80% of all accidents on the road and 25% of accident-related fatalities, said Eyesight. The single greatest distraction to drivers – the use of cell phones – accounts for 25% of all accidents and 14% of all fatal accidents on the road.

According to an AT&T survey, 43% of teens and 49% of adults admit to texting while driving, contributing to cell phone usage being the cause of 1,600,000 accidents annually in the USA alone. The same dangers hold true for cigarette smokers, as an independent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that accidents were two to three times more likely as a result of smoking while driving.

“There’s no greater distraction and danger on today’s road than mobile phones,” said David Tolub, CEO of Eyesight Technologies. “The average driver doesn’t realize that looking down at your phone to check a text is six times more likely to result in an accident than driving under the influence of alcohol. Our first priority is the safety of all people on the road, and eliminating the distraction created by our cell phones is a huge step toward a much safer road.”

In addition to road safety, Eyesight Technologies has seen that in the trucking industry, detection of smoking goes beyond distraction mitigation. With hazmat shipments such as oil and gas, cigarette smoking is against the law and can be catastrophic. With 67% of long-haul truckers in the USA smoking cigarettes according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, preventing smoking in the cabin during the transportation of certain materials is a top priority for fleet managers.

Eyesight Technologies’ FleetSense will enable fleet managers to receive real-time updates and set alerts for the presence of cigarette smoking during the transportation of sensitive materials, improving upon old protocols of random inspections and manual monitoring of driver dash cams.

The feature will also have future applications in the shared car economy, eliminating the presence of smoking in communal cars, such as rentals and autonomous taxis where there are no drivers present to enforce policies.

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