Toshiba Driving Monitor Watches You Watch the Road

May 26, 2009

In a world full of distracted drivers -- be it from radios, phone calls, text messaging, mp3 players, or just straight-up drowsiness -- Toshiba has decided to create a system to keep drivers’ concentration where it should be: on the road.

As it turns out, the easiest way to discern a distracted driver from an attentive one is by the movements of their eyeballs.

After it’s been calibrated, the system is designed to track the driver’s pupils and facial orientation with a steering wheel-mounted camera that's used to determine which of its nine predetermined "sectors" the driver is actually looking at, and whether or not something else, like the road, is in need of more attention.

An activated turn signal, for example, could demand that the sideview mirrors be checked, and the camera would be able to track whether or not the driver did so. Of course, it will also monitor blinking patterns to see if the driver is falling asleep, and if so, it will probably hit them in the ribs with a blunt object to wake them up, while a voice screams ”Achtung!” in the driver’s ear.

Of course, Toshiba would like to remind consumers that it’s not all about nagging, as the system can also apparently be used to activate or control devices in the car with eye gestures.

Toshiba hasn't announced when they'll commercialize the system yet, but according to Tech-On, they do plan to bring it to market someday.

Image: Tech-On