Passengers in a car can help calm an angry driver when another vehicle cuts them off. But when a driver is alone, that anger can easily turn into road rage which puts everyone at risk. So researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne — or EPFL for short — are working on an in-car facial recognition system that knows when the driver isn't happy.
Working alongside engineers from PSA Peugeot Citroen, the team adapted an infrared camera-based facial detection system (so it works all hours of the day) to keep an eye out for two specific expressions: anger and disgust, which indicate the driver is upset.
The hardest part of knowing for sure if a driver is angry is that not everyone uses the same facial expressions to indicate it. Someone could have a big smile on their face as they accelerate to run someone off the road. But in the majority of test situations the facial-detection system was able to accurately spot an enraged driver, and eventually it could be used to limit a vehicle's speed, or flash and sound a warning that they need to calm down. Because there's nothing like a computer beeping at you to sooth your inner beast. [Phys.org]