Honda aims to make driver drowsiness a reality by 2020

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Honda aims to make driver drowsiness a reality by 2020

TOKYO Honda Motor Co. aims to make its in-development artificial intelligence AI driving support system, which can detect potential errors and driver drowsiness, a commercial reality in the latter half of the 2020s, it revealed on Nov. 25.

The automaker plans to release new cars with the system built in. In real time, the AI analyzes data including driver's eye movements and surroundings captured by cameras in and out of the vehicle.

By foreseeing mistakes such as not spotting a motorcycle approaching from behind, the AI warns the driver by tightening the seat belt and issuing warnings from a speaker near their ears. The company has also developed a way to prevent drowsiness by vibrating the seat when detecting driver fatigue from pulse rates.

A communications giant, SoftBank Corp., is working on a way to better understand the situation on the roads by sharing information from multiple vehicles' on-board cameras using fifth-generation 5 G wireless technology. The cameras detect if pedestrians are in other cars' blind spots. If it is likely an accident could be caused, the system alerts drivers and pedestrians by means including triggering alarms on pedestrians' phones.

The company hopes to see widespread adoption of the system through cooperation with other firms and governments.

Honda has set a goal to halve traffic deaths involving the company's motorcycles and cars by 2030 and eliminate deaths by 2050, as well as reduce the deaths by the company's vehicles. Keiji Otsu, the head of technology development, said Honda R&D Co. will invest in research resources to achieve our zero traffic deaths goal by 2050.