Toyota has revealed the latest safety technology it is developing for its future cars: mood sensors that can identify the emotional state of a driver.
The company has been working on the technology since 2006, but for the first time has now managed to implement a working model into one of its cars.
The system uses sensors to examine 236 separate points of the driver's face to gauge emotion and then takes appropriate action. For example it may produce constant safety warnings to a driver it thinks is distracted or, in some cases, even take control of the steering and brakes to avoid obstacles.
The system is so advanced that Toyota says it will even work on drivers with partially obscured faces — such as those wearing sunglasses or with thick beards.
Toyota has stated that its research shows drivers who are angry or sad are less responsive to road hazards compared with drivers in a neutral mood.
One of the technology's lead developers, Jonas Ambeck, told UK magazine What Car? that this technology could feature on production cars within the next six years.
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