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Seeing Machines lands deal to monitor motorists in computer-driven cars

Seeing Machines, which makes cameras and artificial intelligence systems that monitor drivers’ alertness, has landed a contract with major car manufacturer, sending its shares soaring.
The Aim-listed company produces systems that allow computers to “see, understand and assist people”.
Called FOVIO, its transport system uses cameras to monitor factors such as a driver’s head position and eye movement. These are then analysed in real time by computers to gauge if the motorist is paying attention to the road or becoming drowsy.
If they are not focused on the road, the system can give warnings to get their attention. With the development of self-driving systems, it could ultimately take over if the driver is heading into danger, improving road safety.
News of the latest deal sent shares in Seeing Machines, which is based in Australia, up almost a fifth in early trading.
The company - which has similar tie-ups for its systems with six other car manufacturers, including General Motors - said the latest deal was “by far the largest and fastest”. It declined to name the manufacturer.
Nick DiFiore, general manager of Seeing Machines’ automotive business, added: “This is a clear indication of the acceleration of car manufacturers’ awareness and their urgency to deploy our technology to meet rapidly growing demands associated with driver safety and automated driving.”
The NTSB, the US transport regulator, recently put a report warning of the risks of motorists becoming too reliant on “autopilot” systems in cars, which are still a relatively immature technology.
Seeing Machines lands deal to monitor motorists in computer-driven cars

Crashes involving cars using 'autopilot' systems have raised concerns about whether drivers are losing focus on what is going on around them

Credit:
KTVU
It said that introducing systems to monitor drivers that are linked to a car’s ability to pilot itself could reduce the risk of crashes.
World Health Organisation data show that globally 1.3m people die on the roads every year, with 94pc of these fatalities down to human error. It believes its systems can work as a computer “co-pilot” to reduce this number.
Seeing Machines shares were up 1.4p to 9.2p in mid-morning dealing.
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