Road rage is extremely dangerous behavior that plagues drivers on our nation’s highways and city streets. Out of the 6.8 million car accidents that occur each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it can attribute a substantial number of these accidents to aggressive driving or road rage. The problem is, not every driver is aware of the moment when his or her anger with another driver’s driving habits or actions has escalated to the point of road rage.
Fortunately, Swiss-based scientists are developing new in-car technology to recognize certain facial expressions to identify driver emotions. This new road rage detection system consists of a camera and software that will detect any one of the seven most common emotions people exhibit through facial expression (fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise and suspicion). Drivers made aware they are exhibiting signs of rage may be more likely to calm themselves down to avoid doing something they are likely to regret, and that could lead to serious injury or death.
This type of in-car detection system will also detect when a driver has become distracted or is experiencing fatigue.
Road Rage Detection Technology: The Next Step in Driver Safety
Most people at one point or another have experienced a moment when their emotions got the better of them. This new road rage detection technology hopes to be the next step in driver safety and accident prevention. Think about how driving could be made safer if vehicles could not only detect signs of anger, but also take action to defuse potential road rage, or positively influence a driver’s emotions, by doing one of the following:
- Play soothing music chosen off of your own smartphone playlist
- Adjust the temperature to make you more comfortable
- Automatically lower windows to allow you to get some fresh air
- Employ autonomous driving features to prevent you from making unsafe lane changes, speeding excessively, or tailgating the driver in front of you
- Disabling your car’s horn
- Initiating calming vibrations in the driver’s seat to help you feel more relaxed
Technological Advances May Help Eliminate Road Rage Accidents
While it is very likely we are headed for more autonomous vehicles in the future, these new technological advances may very well help eliminate road rage accidents in the here and now. We all do certain things to help calm us down when we are stressed, angry, or emotionally upset. If your vehicle could sense your emotions and take preventative measures to help you avoid becoming violent as a result of your anger, far fewer road rage accidents would likely occur.