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Eye Tracking Tech - The Next Generation of Driver Safety?

Keeping your eyes on the road is easier said than done nowadays due to a whole slew of technological advancements both in-car and on your mobile device. But, one piece of technology is looking to bring the focus of drivers’ eyes back on the road and ultimately save lives: Fovio.

The Australian technology company that developed Fovio, Seeing Machines, says it “enhances operator performance and safety through real-time monitoring and intervention, enabled by intelligent sensing technology and analytics”.

Essentially, the company created software and hardware that tracks drivers’ eyes and alerts them when they are falling asleep, or if they are distracted and a potential collision is about to take place i.e. a large object in the road or the car in front of them braking sharply.

By using infrared light and built-in cameras, Seeing Machine’s devices calculate your head’s position and where your eyes are looking at a rate of 60 frames per second. The company currently offers 2 commercial products that monitor operator’s eye gaze and head position, DSSmining and DSSfleet, with a third, Fovio, in development for passenger vehicle use.

DSSmining and DSSfleet (the DSS stands for Driver Safety System), are currently in use by mining and commercial carrier companies. The DSSmining has been installed in approximately 4000 mining trucks worldwide, resulted in an average 80% reduction in fatigue and distraction events. Now imagine if similar technology became widely available in passenger vehicles. That’s where the Fovio comes in.

The Fovio “represents the showpiece” of their development in eye gaze tracking – the product is so advanced it can even track eye gaze while the driver is wearing glasses. According to the Fovio website,  the product is ‘plug-and-play’ — with an easy and quick set up and registration process, flexible calibration and small footprint, the Fovio, at least in theory, will appeal to a wide audience.

But until this driver’s safety technology is available and installed in most passenger vehicles, there are safety precautions you can take to keep yourself safe while driving.

First and foremost, clear vision while driving is a must. Be sure to have routine eye exams and update your prescription when necessary. Additionally, glare from the sun can wreak havoc on any commute and seriously impair your ability to keep your eyes on the road. Glare-reducing polarized lenses from Xperio UV can increase your reaction time and help keep your eyes on the road during sunny days. Finally, if you find yourself feeling drowsy while driving, pull over and get some rest. Nothing is so important you need to risk your life and the lives of your passengers and the individuals in the cars around you.