Indeed, while you are behind the wheel, you are supposed to watch other cars and look out for hazards; whether it is debris in the road, animals crossing the road, or bicyclists who may not be paying attention. With all the advancements being offered through crash avoidance systems, where the car watches out for external hazards that the driver may not see, it is only a matter of time before your car starts watching you.
Essentially, Ford Motor Corporation is in the process of incorporating technology that will track a driver’s eyes so that it can detect driver fatigue and engage a sleepy driver. The same could ostensibly be done with a distracted driver who is devoting attention to a cell phone or other handheld electronic voice while behind the wheel.
According to a recent wired.com report, the technology is already in use in the trucking and mining industries in order to detect fatigue and distraction; both of could yield dangerous results if a driver was not paying attention to their surroundings. Ford has released few details about the technology it is developing, but it is rumored to include tracking cameras and algorithms that can precisely determine whether a driver is falling asleep behind the wheel or checking Facebook while driving.
Nevertheless, the story is a reminder of the duty that drivers have to keep their eyes on the road. It is a part of the duty of reasonable care that drivers owe to others on the road while they are behind the wheel. A breach of this duty could have significant legal consequences.