Toyota Motor Corporation is claiming a world first in giving its Pre-crash Safety System the ability to determine whether a driver's eyes are properly open. It expects this driver-monitoring breakthrough to play an important role in reducing collision-related damage.
The eye-monitoring feature, which is to be offered in vehicle models scheduled for launch in Japan in the near future, uses a driver-monitoring camera and image-processing computer to determine the position of the driver's upper and lower eyelids. If the Pre-crash Safety System senses that a collision is imminent and also determines that the driver's eyes are not properly open — or, by using the hitherto face-monitoring feature, determines that the driver is not facing forward — it issues a warning to the driver earlier than it would without such driver-condition information.
TMC believes that the development of driver-condition evaluation technologies is vital to improving overall vehicle safety performance, as driver condition is seen as a key factor in traffic safety, with driver error being the main cause of traffic accidents.