World’s first Pre-crash Safety System from Toyota determines whether driver’s eyes are properly open!

Toyota announced today that it has given its Pre-crash Safety System the ability to determine—as a world’s first —whether a driver’s eyes are properly open. Toyota expects this driver-monitoring breakthrough, along with the system’s current ability to determine the direction of the driver’s face, to play an important role in reducing collision-related damage. The Toyota eye-monitoring feature, which is to be offered in vehicle models scheduled for launch in Japan in the near future, uses a driver-monitoring camera and image-processing computer to determine the position of the driver’s upper and lower eyelids. If the Pre-crash Safety System senses that a collision is imminent and also determines that the driver’s eyes are not properly open—or, by using the hitherto face-monitoring feature, determines that the driver is not facing forward—it issues a warning to the driver earlier than it would without such driver-condition information.

Toyota believes that the development of driver-condition evaluation technologies is vital to improving overall vehicle safety performance, as driver condition is seen as a key factor in traffic safety, with driver error being the main cause of traffic accidents.