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In-Car Facial Recognition Detects Angry Drivers To Prevent Road Rage

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Passengers in a car can help calm an angry driver when another vehicle cuts them off. But when a driver is alone, that anger can easily turn into road rage which puts everyone at risk. So researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne—or EPFL for short—are working on an in-car facial recognition system that knows when the driver isn't happy.

Working alongside engineers from PSA Peugeot Citroen, the team adapted an infrared camera-based facial detection system (so it works all hours of the day) to keep an eye out for two specific expressions: anger and disgust, which indicate the driver is upset.


The hardest part of knowing for sure if a driver is angry is that not everyone uses the same facial expressions to indicate it. Someone could have a big smile on their face as they accelerate to run someone off the road. But in the majority of test situations the facial-detection system was able to accurately spot an enraged driver, and eventually it could be used to limit a vehicle's speed, or flash and sound a warning that they need to calm down. Because there's nothing like a computer beeping at you to sooth your inner beast. []