As the technology we use to build vehicles improves, the systems they use to keep drivers, passengers and other vehicles safe advance with it. Recent advances in driver monitoring systems have the potential to prevent drunk driving and other unsafe practices. What should drivers know about these systems?
How do driver monitoring systems work?
A driver monitoring system examines drivers’ performance to identify signs of fatigue or impairment. The driver monitoring system would use cameras and other sensors to identify signs that a driver’s eyes have wandered from the road or that their hands have left the wheel. It would also warn drivers to re-engage with the task of driving and continue warning them until their hands have returned to the wheel or their eyes to the road.
In addition to intoxication, fatigue and other challenges, driver monitoring systems could also indicate distraction. As a result, CNN notes that driver monitoring technology also has the potential to address concerns about driver distraction while using autopilot or driver-assist technologies.
New legislation may require monitoring systems on vehicles in as little as five years.
If passed, a bill introduced in November of 2021 would require car manufacturers to include driver monitoring systems on vehicles starting in 2026. However, because regulations for manufacturers currently do not outline requirements for driver monitoring systems, the bill would also require additional research on these systems to establish those standards.
While this emerging technology is not yet a standard on new vehicles, proponents note that it could make roadways safer.