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Cadillac just announced they will be introducing new technology in the pursuit of practical autonomous driving. Robocars are well on their way to ubiquity but they are coming to us in bits and pieces. Car makers have already introduced a number of these components such as automatic stopping, lane swerving warnings, and systems to maintain a safe distance while driving at speed.
Cadillac, though, has added something new. The new 2018 model CT6, which will arrive later this year, will be watching your every move. Well, every eye move to be specific. They will introduce a scanning sensor to watch your eye movements. This new sensor will help in accident avoidance when other sensors fail or cannot work for some reason.
When sensors are unable to carry out their duties the car has to revert to backup technology (you, the driver). This new system will watch your eyes for one thing: to make sure you are still there and awake, ready to take over at a moment’s notice.
Normally, we have our hands on the wheel at all times and make slight adjustments to the steering, even if we are unaware we are doing so. These movements will turn off the self-driving features. While this seems logical, you may not always want that. Consider that we inadvertently adjust the wheel continuously with answering calls, adjusting the radio, and so forth. Cadillac’s different approach to determine when to shift control back to the driver is based on whether you are actually watching the road and not, say, the coffee that just spilled.
If you stop paying attention for an extended period, the car will alert you with beeps and buzzes to get you back in the game. In a really bad situation (meaning you stopped looking ahead for a really long period), the system will actually alert OnStar for you.