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Transportation Input Devices Technology

EyeDriver Lets Drivers Steer Car With Their Eyes 166

Hugh Pickens writes "NPR reports that German researchers have tested a new technology called eyeDriver that tracks a driver's eye movement and, in turn, steers the car in whatever direction they're looking at speeds up to 31 mph. 'The next step will be to get it to drive 60 miles per hour,' says Raul Rojas, an artificial intelligence researcher at Berlin's Free University. A Dodge Caravan fitted with eyeDriver has been tested on the tarmac at an abandoned airport at Tempelhof Airport. However, it remains unclear when — or if — the technology will be commercialized, as questions about safety and practicability abound: What about looking at a cute girl next to the road for a few seconds? Not to mention taking phone calls or typing a text while driving. But the researchers have an answer to distracted drivers: 'The Spirit of Berlin' is also an autonomous car equipped with GPS navigation, scores of cameras, lasers, and scanners that enable it to drive by itself. And should the technology-packed vehicle have a major bug, there's still an old fashioned way of stopping it. Two big external emergency buttons at the rear of the car allow people outside to shut down all systems."
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EyeDriver Lets Drivers Steer Car With Their Eyes

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  • Re:groan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cosm ( 1072588 ) < minus bsd> on Friday April 23, 2010 @07:09PM (#31962312)
    Possible use in fighter jets, video games, or controlled environments, perhaps say a UAV pilot locked in a room. An interesting idea, but a terrible initial application.
  • by elchulopadre ( 466393 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @07:40PM (#31962584)

    People do this already. To learn to drive a car, ride a bike, ski, or control any other type of vehicle, you go through a learning process where you commit the control procedures to muscle memory. Once you have that covered, you pretty much go where you want to go, without necessarily thinking 'ok, now I need to turn the steering wheel'.

    By and large, barring any significant equipment failure, you pretty much go towards whatever has your attention - for better or worse. Target fixation is alive and well in pretty much all of us. If you're on your bike and you keep staring at it, you'll most likely hit it. If you look at the path around it, most likely you won't. It has nothing to do with your ability to control the bike, and everything with the ability to control your attention.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @09:33PM (#31963574) Journal

    So we want cars to steer towards what we are looking at? Seriously? You want to have all the cute women in the world run over?

    While the comment WAS funny there is a problem with something like that already.

    It's been known for decades that drunk drivers tend to fixate on flashing yellow lights and then steer toward them. This makes using flashing yellow lights as a warning counter-productive.

    Oregon, for instance, long ago switched away from blinky-yellow lights to the rear on police cars to use as warning lights when they have people pulled over - with a significant reduction in car-hits-cop-at-traffic-stop incidents.

    California, of course, has standardized on big yellow blinky-lights for cop car pullover warnings. (I recall a few years back when San Jose was lamenting how many of their new fleet of cruisers had been smashed by drunk drivers that year...)

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson