Yandex to deploy face recognition to cut off sleepy drivers

Drowsiness or fatigue of a driver is the major reason for road accidents. The latest survey from the National Sleep Foundation suggests that more than seven million admitted to dozing off behind the wheel within the same two weeks. Hence, to prevent these accidents, onboard monitoring of the alertness of the automotive drivers is necessary.

Now the exhaust drivers in Russia are about to be forced to take more breaks. Yandex.Taxi, the largest taxi service in Russia and co-owned by Uber, has taken a step towards it. It will soon install face recognition technology in all its cars to identify tired drivers.

Their face recognition device, which will be mounted on the windshield, includes software that will identify the exhausted drivers. It will track parameters like blinking, yawning and the person’s head slumping forward and will then potentially ban them from taking more orders.

The software, based on technology from local vendor VisionLabs, can identify 68 facial points.

Last year, the company merged with Uber to allow drivers access to drivers from both apps. Uber has a more low-tech approach to keep tired drivers off the road. It provides periodic notifications when approaching the 12-hour driving time limit and then automatically goes offline for six straight hours when the max has been reached. After the six hours, driving time resets and drivers can go online again to receive trip requests.

Yandex has already piloted face-recognition for drivers in 100 cars and plans to roll out the measure to several thousand cars soon, Bloomberg reports.

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