Volvo has announced they are testing a Driver State Estimation system that can determine whether or not a driver is paying attention to the road.

Volvo has announced they are testing a Driver State Estimation system that can determine whether or not a driver is paying attention to the road.

The system uses a variety of dashboard-mounted sensors that monitor the driver's eyes, head position and head angle. Volvo says this information can then be analyzed to ensure the car stays in its lane and doesn't get involved in an accident even when the driver is not paying attention. If the driver nods off, the car could also attempt to wake them.

According to Volvo's project leader for driver support functions, Per Landfors, “Since the car is able to detect if a driver is not paying attention, safety systems can be adapted more effectively. For example, the car's support systems can be activated later on if the driver is focused, and earlier if the driver’s attention is directed elsewhere."

Besides the added safety benefits, Volvo says the system could be able to recognize the driver and adjust the cars setting to their preferences.

Volvo also said the system could become an important feature on autonomous vehicles as it could determine whether or not the driver is able to retake control of the car when it can no longer operate in autonomous mode.

Be part of something big

Volvo testing smart sensors that can determine if you're paying attention