Using a telephone while driving increases the risk of a crash. This new technology warns drivers if they are distracted.
London CNN Business  — 

When you’re driving a car, losing focus can be a killer.

Distraction — be it a smartphone, a cigarette, music or eating — factors in up to 30% of road crashes, while fatigue is involved in up to 20%, according to the European Commission.

This is why, as of 2022, new safety technologies will become mandatory in new European vehicles, including “a warning of driver drowsiness and distraction.”

Bosch, the German engineering and technology company, is positioning itself to be one of the main providers of this technology, announcing in December that it has developed an interior monitoring system that detects drowsy and distracted drivers.

The technology, which will be built into new cars from 2022, uses cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect when a driver’s eyelids are getting heavy, or when they are distracted from looking at a phone or turning towards another passenger.

The algorithm — trained using recordings of real driving situations — makes a judgment on the driver’s fatigue depending on their eyelid position and eye-blink rate.

“Based on all this information, it can recognize if you’re getting tired because the frequency of your eyelids opening and closing gets much slower,” Annett Fischer, spokesperson for the Bosch interior monitor system, tells CNN Business.

The system can then alert drivers, recommending a break if they are tired, or even reacting by reducing the speed of the vehicle.