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How to prevent distracted driving in semi-autonomous cars

Companies such as Waymo have shown people taking selfies and otherwise enjoying themselves riding in self-driving cars. However, it may not be safe for a driver to take his or her eyes off the road even while in a self-driving car. To prevent California drivers or others from getting too complacent while in such a vehicle, AI technology can be used to determine how attentive a driver really is.

A camera facing the driver inside of the vehicle can be used to keep track of that person's facial expressions and other information. If the car determines that the driver is not paying attention, it can sound an alarm or otherwise warn the driver to do so. This type of system is already used in Cadillacs that have the "Super Cruise" feature. It can also stop the vehicle and call OnStar if it detects that a driver isn't responding in a timely manner.

The time it takes such a system to determine that a driver is inattentive depends on several factors, such as the speed of the vehicle. At faster speeds, it can take as little as three seconds for a detection to be made. At slower speeds, it could take slightly longer, according to a member of the GM autonomous vehicles unit.

Broken bones, lacerations and concussions are common injuries sustained in car accidents. These injuries may take many months or years to recover from. If a negligent driver caused an accident that resulted in these or any other injuries, victims may be entitled to compensation. Compensation could help pay for medical bills or overcome lost wages or lost future earnings related to the accident. Punitive damages could also be included in a settlement negotiated outside of court or in a jury award.

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