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General Motors barrels into smart car race with new eye and head-tracking technology

The American car manufacturer General Motors, or GM for short, is ready to grab a slice of the smart car pie by being the first company to launch a new technology that can detect distracted drivers by monitoring head and eye movement.

The tracking technology will measure the rotation of the driver's head and alert the driver if he or she is not spending enough time focussing on the road.

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This will hopefully put a stop on dangerous motorist habits, like checking one's phone whilst driving, which is still one of the leading causes of road accidents in the UK.

It has been reported that Australian driver monitoring firm Seeing Machines and Takata, a supplier of automotive safety products, have united to supply GM with devices for 500,000 vehicles over the next five years.

Ken Kroeger, CEO of Seeing Machines, said; "Safety doesn't sell cars - sexy sells car...But once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes."

One example he gave was using the system to identify the car's driver, thereby acting as a deterrent for theft.

Read more: Google's self-driving cars plan stopped in its tracks by new California ruling (opens in new tab)

The news comes at a time when both GM and Takata are facing scrutiny. GM is being investigated for failing to recall millions of flawed cars, whilst faulty Takata airbags have forced the recall of thousands of vehicles from several suppliers including Toyota and BMW.

Sam Pudwell
Sam Pudwell

Sam is Head of Content at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and has more than six years' experience as a reporter and content writer, having held the positions of Production Editor, Staff Writer, and Senior Business Writer at ITProPortal.