It wasn't very long ago that an anthropomorphic car was something out of science fiction. KITT, Carrie, and even Herbie the Love Bug wowed audiences with their ability to talk back to drivers. Today, in-vehicle infotainment systems have taken us one step closer forging a connection between man and machine that was once thought impossible, as many are able to relay voice messages back to users.
So what's the next logical step in this progression? Now that vehicles can talk back, why not add a little emotion into the mix? Specifically, Toyota is working on a new system that can detect the mood of a driver, in order to calculate their risk on the road and execute any proper safety percautions that may be necessary.
Now we'll be the first to admit that sounds a bit farfetched. But let's not forget that it was only ten years ago that the idea of in-vehicle infotainment seemed equally improbable. In other words, technology moves fast, and Toyota already has a proof of concept in the works.
Specifically, the new system works by actively monitoring 238 facial points that are examined by a camera facing the driver. After crunching some numbers on each point, the system can then predict what sort of mental state the driver is in. If they're overly stressed, it can pre-activate accident avoidance systems in order to compensate for lost reaction time. If they're distracted, it can give them a gentle reminder to stay focused on the road. And finally, if the driver is checking to the left, but an obstruction comes in on the right, the system can inform them.
One Toyota of Oakland, located at 8181 Oakport St. Oakland, CA 94621, looks forward to seeing this technology implemented in the near future, and invites you to stay tuned for more information on it as it becomes available.