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Volvo has set a goal of ensuring that no one is killed or seriously injured in one of its new cars from 2020. This system is part of that ambition: it will ‘learn’ the driver’s style and spot when he’s not paying attention

“OK, you’ve clearly been at the wheel too long, I’m taking over….”

Not the thoughts of a partner fretting in the passenger seat, but potentially the car itself.

Sensors will be able to recognise when a driver is tired or inattentive

Safety-conscious Volvo is developing new systems that will ensure that the highest duty of care standards are applied to small businesses running a small fleet and trying to keep their drivers in one piece.

The technology will basically result in the car ‘getting to know’ the person behind the wheel. Sensors will be able to recognise when a driver is tired or inattentive, by noticing closed eyes or attention wandering from the road ahead.


The sensors will spot lapses of concentration by identifying atypical eye movements or head positions

According to Per Landfors, the engineer heading the development team at Volvo, the driver will be able to rely a bit more on the car. “Drivers will know that it will help them when needed.”

The systems work through an infrared sensor on the dashboard that monitors aspects such as where the driver is looking, whether the eyes are open, as well as head position and angle.

The technology will then adjust the car according to the driver’s condition – ensuring it does not stray out of the lane or get too close to the car in front when the driver is losing focus, as well as being able to wake a driver who is falling asleep.

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