Harman’s Ready Care Technology Can Tell When You’re Distracted Or Stressed And React Accordingly

10% of fatal accidents in the United States can be blamed on distracted drivers and this results in more than 3,000 deaths annually.

Given numbers like that, Harman has introduced their Ready Care suite of technologies at the North American International Auto Show. As the company explained, they’re “powered by newly developed machine learning algorithms, which gather and process data from in-vehicle cameras and sensors to monitor a driver’s state and generate customized in-vehicle cabin prompts to trigger a range of behavioral responses – increasing awareness, alleviating stress or inducing/stimulating ease and relief.”

The suite has three key features and the first is known as Eyes and Mind on Road. As the name suggests, it’s focused on monitoring drivers as an infrared camera watches their facial expressions, eye gaze, eyelid openings, and more. While these types of driver monitoring cameras are nothing new, Harman goes a step further with a “Cognitive Distraction” feature that “deciphers when the driver is mentally distracted, and can initiate multiple and simultaneous in-cabin vehicle intervention responses.” These responses are tailored to the situation and should help keep drivers focused on the task at hand.

Also Read: Male Drivers Are Much More Likely To Drive Distracted Than Females, Study Finds

In order to keep drivers relaxed, there’s Stress-Free Routing which is compatible with multiple navigation engines. Besides the most direct route, drivers are presented with more relaxing alternatives that avoid traffic jams and other stressful situations. By the sound of it, the system could take drivers on a more leisurely route that avoids the hustle and bustle of city life when possible.

Ready Care also promises personalized experiences as automakers and third parties can integrate any vehicle feature or function into the intervention solution. As a result, the audio volume and climate control system can be changed to help drivers relax or stay alert.

While much of the focus is on distraction, the system also promises to detect drowsiness and anxiety. Once this occurs, the system can respond to improve safety or reduce driver stress.

According to Armin Prommersberger, Senior Vice President of Automotive Product Management at Harman International, “Ready Care is essentially a co-pilot, spotting when distractions could turn into dangerous situations and intervening to avoid them.” He added, “For the first time, the vehicle can know what the driver is thinking” and “this is a game changer.”

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