Volvo Experimenting With 'Driver State Estimation' System

Mar 17, 2014 06:22 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Volvo has announced it is experimenting with "driver sensors" to try cutting down on driver inattention while behind the wheel.

The "Driver State Estimation," technology knows what a driver is looking at and can detect closed eyes, according to the automaker.

While the technology can already be found in test vehicles, the long-term goal is to "create cars that get to know their drivers, "Volvo said.

"Driver sensors are also opening up other possibilities," Volvo said in a statement. "By monitoring eye movements, the car would be able to adjust both interior and exterior lighting to follow the direction in which the driver is looking. The car would also be able to adjust seat settings by recognizing the person sitting behind the wheel.

Volvo's system can be found on the dashboard in front of the driver.

The sensor is able to recognize a driver by measuring between different points on the face to identify the driver.

Volvo is hardly the only automaker trying to implement this technology in its vehicles.

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is equipped with "attention assist," which is capable of sensing driver inattention or drowsiness, and if it does, a coffee-cup alert icon illuminates to get the driver's attention.

The system works over a 37-124 mph speed range, according to the automaker. 

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