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Mitsubishi Announces Machine Learning Technology That Detects Cognitive Distractions In Drivers

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Mitsubishi has certainly been mashing the dash on delivering high-powered technologies as of late.

Nearly two weeks since announcing its automated driving concept car and days after rolling out with its road-illuminating signal concept, the Japanese automaker announced Monday that it's developing a technology to detect cognitive distractions in drivers. According to Mitsubishi's press release, the technology will be used to detect absent-mindedness in drivers when their vehicles are traveling straight.

The way the technology will work is via a machine-learning algorithm that it refers to as deep learning. Mitsubishi believes this technology will mark a first for the automotive industry. According to the Fuji Chimera Research Institute, Inc., the market for such advanced driver assistance systems is expected to hit $9 billion by 2025. Needless to say, automakers don't want to be left out in the cold.

As of now, though, there hasn't been a system available that could detect cognitive distractions in drivers because such symptoms could appear in a driver's behavioral patterns instead of seen on their face or eye movements, as reported by Mitsusbishi.

The automaker's machine-learning algorithm vows to sift through time-series data — which includes steering and other information about the vehicle and the driver's heart rate and facial appearance — to alert those exhibiting potential dangers.

If the system picks up on a distraction, it will immediately alert the driver in hopes that he or she corrects whatever it is they're doing wrong. 

Mitsubishi says its deep learning could help to lower errors by as much as 66 percent in comparison to the automaker's standard algorithm.

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