Tiredness contributes to as many as one in six crashes resulting in death or injury in the UK, according to road safety charity Brake. The stats for distraction, or “failure to look” are even more alarming, contributing to more than a quarter of fatal crashes in the UK in 2016.
Ahead of the New York International Auto Show, Subaru has announced groundbreaking safety technology for the new Forester that aims to tackle these problems by identifying driver fatigue and distraction.
The new facial-recognition technology, called DriverFocus, will debut on the top-spec Touring Forrester, and alerts drivers when it detects a drop off in concentration. It works alongside Subaru’s other autonomous driving tech, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which provides automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, among other features.
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As well as providing more safety, DriverFocus can also make your journey that little bit more comfortable by remembering presets for seat position and temperature preference for up to five drivers.
It goes without saying that you should never get behind the wheel of a car if you’re feeling tired, and hopefully drivers won’t use Subaru’s new DriverFocus tech as a safety net, but in reality things are rarely black and white. Tiredness can creep up on you, even if you’ve started out on your journey feeling pretty fresh.
So, if Subaru’s new tech can spot the signs of tiredness — and indeed distraction — and alert a driver before they’re a risk to themselves and to others, that can only be a good thing. Of course, this also depends on the driver acting responsibly when notified, because the car’s never going to take the keys away from them.