Swiss experts call for drink-driver cameras to be fitted inside cars
Researchers from some of the highest-ranking Swiss universities are looking into new ways to prevent serious accidents on roads and motorways. Targeting drunk drivers using driver-facing cameras fitted inside the car could hold the key.
Researchers use cameras to detect alcohol consumption in drivers
According to SRF, the Advice Centre for Accident Prevention (BFU) is currently preparing for new driving regulations to be implemented next year - from mid-2024, new vehicles will be fitted with driver-facing cameras that monitor drowsiness and issue alerts. Now, researchers from ETH Zurich and the Universities of Bern and St. Gallen are conducting regular tests to see whether they could modify the cameras to detect signs of alcohol consumption.
So far, tests have been conducted on a simulator, but now the scientists are starting to put the cameras to the test in real cars as well. According to SRF, the cameras can figure out whether a person is potentially under the influence of alcohol by studying where the driver is looking, their facial movements and other factors.
Smart-car systems should spot drink drivers, say experts
Robin Deuber, who is closely accompanying the project as a doctoral student at ETH, told SRF that "with the cameras that we have, we can calculate the view and see where a person is looking. This is how we recognise a person's tunnel vision, for example." He added that the cameras could, in theory, prohibit a drunk driver from setting off all together.
Alongside the new driver-facing cameras, new cars in Switzerland will have to be fitted with a number of safety technologies from mid-2024, including emergency braking, lane departure and reversing assistance, as well as new cybercrime prevention tools. Experts from the three universities told SRF that technology to detect possible drunk drivers should also be added into the mix.