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Honda developing AI to detect cognitive impairment in drivers

ANN/THE JAPAN NEWS – Honda Motor Co will develop artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect abnormalities in a driver’s physical condition by analysing how the vehicle is travelling and any subtle changes in the driver.

The technology is expected to reduce accidents involving elderly drivers, which have become a social problem, and also to help detect dementia or glaucoma at an early stage. The automaker aims to put it to practical use around 2030.

Working with the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology, Honda uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and sensors to analyse a driver’s brain and eye movements. The technology is designed to identify the cause of errors that lead to accidents, using a camera to detect the driver’s line of sight and warn them about overlooking pedestrians crossing streets.

By applying this technology, Honda will develop a function that signals a decline in cognitive function or spatial perception when its sensor detects the car veering or getting close to other vehicles. On top of this, Honda will combine AI with the sensor and camera to analyse the driver’s physical condition and any suspected illness.

If a car detects a delay in a driver’s response to traffic lights, it will notify them that they may have narrow vision. Narrow vision is a common symptom of glaucoma, but the disease usually progresses slowly and is difficult to recognise. This function is aimed at notifying drivers of the risk of accidents and also serves as an opportunity for them to realise something is wrong before symptoms of the disease become obvious.

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