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Intel shows off new tech that monitors a driver’s eyes to warn about road obstacles

Intel shows off new tech that monitors a driver’s eyes to warn about road obstacles

Intel driver warning system

Intel driver warning system

Image Credit: Dwayne De Freitas / VentureBeat

The CES 2013 prototype of True Player Gear's VR headset. What will be hot in consumer electronics and computing in 2015? Read VB’s full coverage of International CES 2015 to find out.

LAS VEGAS — Intel’s got a massive display area here at CES 2015 but we wanted to know what the company was doing in the car — and what we found did not disappoint.

Rather than focus on infotainment like most of the other big technology leaders (Apple, Google, etc.), Intel’s concept shows how the auto can use today’s sensors to track the eyes of the driver — even when the top is down and the driver is wearing sunglasses. Intel partnered with developer Seeing Machines on a new driver-warning system to utilize those eye movement-tracking sensors to prevent accidents while on the road.

Intel’s system, which right now is just a concept, is designed to remain aware of where exactly the driver’s attention by tracking their eyes and converting that attention into data. It’s up to Jaguar (maker of the vehicle Intel used to show off the concept system) and other car makers to determine what to do with that data. Some automakers may decide that a visual warning is all that’s necessary, while others may choose to implement automatic brake features, speed limitations, and more.

I’d imagine concept systems like this will be met with open arms from the car industry, especially since the latest available data from the federal government shows that distracted driving caused more than 3,000 deaths and nearly 500,000 injuries in 2012 alone. Since the world has only gotten more distracted with mobile device notifications and other attention-grabbing technology, I’d imagine the number of accidents is only going to increase, too. It’s encouraging to know that in the age of advanced infotainment, technology developers are focusing on how to protect drivers from the many distractions consumers face while in their vehicles. The next step is to implement these technologies in more affordable vehicles. While Jaguars and Land Rovers are attractive, they don’t support the core demographic of drivers in their 20s that, according to the NTSA, are responsible for nearly 30 percent of fatal distracted driving incidents.

For a closer look at Intel’s concept driver warning system, check out the demo video embedded below.

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