eyeDriver software enables car steering with your eyes
German researchers have developed a new technology that lets drivers steer cars using only their eyes. The scientists Berlin’s Free University developed the software eyeDriver which is responsible for the steering of their car dubbed “Spirit of Berlin” just by the movement of the eyes. Raul Rojas, an artificial intelligence researcher at Berlin’s Free University, and his team presented the technology-packed prototype at an airport in the German capital.
The Dodge Caravan crisscrossed the tarmac at the abandoned Tempelhof Airport, while its driver used his line of sight to control the car. The car’s steering wheel was turning as if it was guided by ghostly hands. The technology called eyeDriver lets the car drive up to 31 mph (50 kph) and the researchers aim to raise the speed to 60 mph (96 kph).
For now, exercises remain relatively simple. The Dodge chases a pedestrian or another car across the tarmac and shows his agility and even drives backward – the driver only has to look into the rear mirror to guide the car.
Before both you and I state all the possible scenarios of this technology gone wrong, the researchers have an answer to distracted drivers because “The Spirit of Berlin” is also an autonomous car equipped with GPS navigation, scores of cameras, lasers and scanners that enable it to drive by itself. Although it raises security and practicality of the vehicle, it doesn’t cancel potential load of wrong input by the users.
To demonstrate the car’s autonomy, Rojas jumped in front of their car which was moving at the speed of 10 mph at one point and the Dodge was immediately stopped by system which detected the obstacle by cameras. While Rojas escaped, driver David Latotzky sat calmly on the passenger seat, wearing a bicycle helmet equipped with 2 cameras which are the key to the operation of their system. One camera mounted on top of the helmet monitors the street, while a second one constantly keeps track of the driver’s eyes’ movements.
“We chose a bicycle helmet because they’re the most ergonomic ones,” Rojas said.
Although we agree there is a need for more automated vehicles, the idea to use your eyes in order to steer or choose a direction is terribly wrong. If you are a driver, you know you get distracted by ordinary things as pedestrians, architecture and landscapes, animals or all the gadgets you carry with you. You check the rear mirror even when you don’t drive in reverse and you look around when you’re in the intersection. This technology would be much more applicable for disabled people in wheelchairs with no alternatives for steering.