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Advanced: cars will have advanced technology systems to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel within five years according to new plans

All cars have a tracker that wakes drivers who fall asleep at the wheel

  • The regulation will become compulsory within five years to reduce the number of road deaths
  • A warning sounds to warn tired drivers that they urgently need to take a break
  • Sleepy drivers were involved in 53 fatal and 351 serious accidents in Great Britain
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Advanced technology systems that follow the eyes of the driver when they fall asleep are mandatory for all cars within five years.

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The advanced devices can prevent hundreds of deaths on the road every year.

The monitoring systems are already available in cars from some manufacturers and measure the percentage of time the driver's eyes are closed.

Advanced: cars will have advanced technology systems to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel within five years according to new plans

Advanced: cars will have advanced technology systems to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel within five years according to new plans

If they appear to be sleepy, a warning sounds to encourage them to take a break.

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In the most advanced versions, if the warning is ignored, a car goes into an emergency state with the speed automatically reduced and a message sent to a call center asking for a phone call with the driver.

If the driver still does not respond, an emergency stop can be activated, whereby the calling system stays on the line and sends further assistance if necessary.

The European Parliament has introduced rules that almost certainly make systems mandatory for newly introduced models from May 2022 and for all new vehicles from May 2024. A similar timetable is likely to apply to the UK, regardless of the Brexit, under technical specifications developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

The final decision as to whether the requirements should become mandatory in the United Kingdom will be taken later by the government.

Traffic accident statistics show that in 2017 sleepy drivers contributed to 53 fatal and 351 serious accidents in the UK.

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However, it is generally accepted that the actual rate for fatigue-related accidents is much higher as a result of under-reporting, with up to 25 percent of fatal accidents estimated to be caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel – about 400 out of 1,770 road deaths in the UK last year.

Privacy campaigners have nevertheless expressed their fear that the new eye-tracking technology can be manipulated to make money by analyzing the movements of a driver's face.

This may even have the ability to follow a passenger's gaze to see what advertisements they are watching and to follow people's emotions through their facial expressions.

In March, Volvo announced that from the beginning of the 2020s all its models will be equipped with driver monitoring technology to tackle distracted or drunk drivers.

Cameras detect when a driver has removed his eyes from the road long enough to create a risk, after which safety systems are activated to send a warning to the driver.

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A Ministry of Transport spokesperson said: “We are continuously working with partners around the world to improve the safety standards of all vehicles.

& # 39; These interventions should lead to a step-by-step change in road safety throughout Europe, including the UK, and driver awareness technologies can help save dozens of lives each year. & # 39;

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