Steering wheel camera 'detects angry drivers'

Face recognition software The technology tracks the contours of the face

Related Stories

A concept to embed facial recognition cameras into steering wheels to detect angry or upset drivers is being worked on by researchers.

A team in Switzerland said irritated drivers could be more aggressive and less attentive, and therefore assessing emotional state could improve safety.

Tests of the system showed promising levels of accuracy, the team said.

But one group representing the interests of drivers was not impressed.

The researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne said their system "learned" to identify two emotions - anger and disgust - on the face of its test subjects.

Another use for the technology was said to be to detect driver fatigue by monitoring the percentage of eyelid closure.

The camera was tested in both an office environment, and in a car provided by Peugeot Citro├źn.

Facial expression recognition technology is already widely used, particularly in the video games industry.

'Row with their wife'

But in this scenario, the technology is a long way from being ready for use.

The team said it faced a challenge in making sure the emotion detection was reliable given that humans reactions and facial expressions can vary greatly.

And Hugh Bladon, from the Association of British Drivers, was against the concept full stop.

"I don't like the idea at all," he said.

"I'm all for something which stops someone who's drunk or on drugs getting in and driving.

"But to try and test someone's emotional state... if they've had a row with their wife or they've had a bad report about something... that's too far.

"It's an intrusion."

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Technology stories

RSS

Features

  • OrangemanPunctured pride?

    How would N Ireland's Orangemen feel if Scotland left the union?


  • Sheep on Achill IslandMass exodus

    Why hundreds of thousands of people have left Ireland


  • MarchionessThames tragedy

    Survivors and victims' families remember Marchioness disaster


  • A teenaged mother in the Zaatari campUntold misery

    The plight of Syria's refugee child brides


  • Michael MosleyMeat feast?

    Which is the best eco option - eating beef, chicken or mussels?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.