The feature works through cameras that monitor the eyes and head movements of drivers. For this technology, GM partnered with Seeing Machines, an auto safety tech firm based in Australia.
According to Ken Kroeger, the CEO of Seeing Machines, the safety feature immediately alerts drivers once the camera's sensors detect the direction of the driver's head or eyes are wandering away from the road, according to Autoblog.
Kroeger added that the feature does not record images like a CCTV. This means the data captured cannot be used by insurance companies to analyze driver behavior in vehicular accidents.
"The system is not a closed circuit TV," he explained. "The images captured by the camera are processed by the computer and used by the computer to determine how attentive the driver is and what or where they are looking."
"Images are not stored or transmitted," Kroeger continued. "The solution does not have memory for data or transmission capability."
In helping the driver be more attentive on the road, the safety feature has three levels of alarm. The alarms vary depending on the level of inattentiveness of the drivers, Daily Mail reported.
"When an in-cab alarm sounds, the driver is contacted immediately to ensure that they are okay and able to continue driving," he said. "In most cases, this is the policy for the first alarm during a shift while the second alarm results in the driver being forced to stop and rest."
As for the third alarm, Kroeger said it involves the safety feature contacting another person, probably a family member or friend of the driver, to take over the wheel once it detects that the operator is too tired to continue driving.
The executive noted that the technology works like the conditioning experiments used in psychology.
"Our technology eradicates driver distraction very quickly," he said. "The human brain learns that the warning chime sounds if they take their eyes off the road for more than the configured time and learns to bring their eyes back to the road continuously in order to avoid the chime."
GM CEO Mary Barra said the company will start installing the safety feature in all of its cars sometime in 2016.
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