GM To Install Eye/Head Tracking Systems in Autos.

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Feb 6, 2010
Central Texas
This is another chapter to a similar previous post re: gov't requiring cars to communicate with each other, also found in "Auto Gen. Topics".

General Motors, the largest US auto manufacturer by sales, is preparing to launch the world’s first mass-produced cars with eye- and head-tracking technology that can tell whether drivers are distracted, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
The gadgets will start by measuring the rotation of the head so they can alert drivers if they are not spending enough time looking in certain areas such as the road ahead or the rear-view mirror.

“Safety doesn’t sell cars – sexy sells cars,” said Ken Kroeger, Seeing Machines’ chief executive. “But once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes.” (emphasis added).
The car is the next frontier for using “smart” sensors to gather and crunch consumer data, along with the home and the workplace. The move is part of the escalating fight over who can use technology to make money from drivers – whether via dashboard apps, streaming music or even watching movies in self-driving cars.

“The key way for carmakers to differentiate themselves is how they enable the consumer and create and share content,” said Thilo Koslowski, analyst at research group Gartner. “The user experience is an untapped opportunity that will crown the leader in this space.”
The technology raises significant privacy concerns over how manufacturers and insurers will store and handle the data, though Seeing Machines’ devices will not keep or transmit the information, at least initially. (emphasis added.)
Seeing Machines’ devices involve cameras backed by algorithms that can identify features of drivers’ faces, such as the rotation of the head and the frequency of eyelid blinks. It then imposes this information on a three-dimensional map of the interior of the car so it can tell to an accuracy of one degree what the driver is looking at.

The company is investing in technology that will be able to tell how hard a driver is thinking by monitoring the dilation of the pupils, and combines facial information with sensors for vital signs such as blood alcohol levels and heart rate.

The news comes as GM and Takata face controversy over their products. The carmaker is being investigated by the US Congress over its failure to recall millions of vehicles over more than a decade despite flaws in the ignition mechanism. Several manufacturers, including GM, Toyota and BMW, have also recalled thousands of cars because of a defect in Takata airbags.

Who is John Galt? Who is George Orwell?

There are now front-facing (video) cameras on: laptops, desktops, cell phones, & tablets. "They" want the ability to monitor you at home, at work and now in your car. Now you'll have one (or two) looking at you and your family while driving.

And from the (automotive) mother of all beasts: GM.

Something stinks about this and it smells like gubmint: "You wouldn't be around without us, so we expect you to play ball on this one, understand? Capiche?"

No doubt it will be sold as "safety", but I sense that far darker intentions lie underneath: "The move is part of the escalating fight over who can use technology to make money from drivers....even watching movies in self-driving cars." My, my, my...what a narcissistic age we live in. "Don't worry...we'll take care of won't even have to drive the car...just sit back, relax, text and watch a movie. We'll take care of the rest."

A nation of vidiots (video-idiots).

I'm reminded of Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

As an engineer myself, I have nothing against technology. It's a very useful tool. However, in the hands of politicians, marketers, advertisers and those who are far too interested in the private details of others, and their kids, without any ethics, morals, scrupples or restraint, it becomes very dangerous. They're in it for the $$$, the poweer, the authority and the control.

Power Corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

Think about it....

P.S.: Even more incentive to keep the old sled sliding....
"Extra extra! jrustles never to buy a new Government Motors product"

Nice post, sledd. Since you mentioned "the government', expect all the unconditional gov. apologists to come out of the woodwork

Bad drivers and 'nanny devices' are like cancer; it's not about prevention and teaching people about causes, it's about exploiting the 'remedies' to the problem you're not trying to solve. In this case, North America will never take the position of better-trained drivers and harder to obtain licenses, but rather in autonomous vehicles equipped with front and rear cameras, microphones, voice recognition, radar, two-way communications, remote controlling capabilities, ie servo-controlled auto-steering, braking, accelerating. All these to prevent bad driving/poor skill, the root problem that nothing has been done to remedy.

Problem Reaction Solution, in which the solution is often chronologically the first to exist.
Now what has me especially pondering the who and why is the lack of ACLU activism on these issues. I've made clear I'm LE but very much anti-govt and pro liberty. I'm not pro se right and not left. There are liberties we have allowed to be eroded and they keep growing and growing.

When the Supreme Court (rightfully so) deems your cell phone to require a warrant prior to search even post arrest; that is rattle of the cage. State appellate court sure, but USSC has often been toward the if lawful arrest search is ok. Take NY; woman arrested for whatever cops under USSC can search her pocketbook...NY NO!!! Goakey says it can only be an inventory search as part of a jail house security issue.

They are telling to govt we know you are overreaching. Hopefully the pendulum swings farther and farther to more restrictive police practices. The steps coming will be police review of this data upon a crash....BUT will eventually slide into a system of review at any moment. That is how govt works.

Any time someone says: "It's all about your safety." Be ware of that snake of a salesman!
And what if the system in question had no video storage beyond real-time driver monitoring? No means to store video data... no way to connect an auxiliary recording device to collect or transmit the video signal coming from the camera? Would that be enough to get people to wad up their foil hats and accept that no one, government, Government Motors, or otherwise, cares to watch what they do?
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