Volvo said on Wednesday it will use cameras installed inside its vehicles to monitor driver behavior and intervene if the driver appears to be drunk or distracted. It’s a risky move by an automaker, even one with a reputation for safety like Volvo, which could raise concerns among privacy advocates.
Volvo’s in-car cameras will monitor eye movements to gauge driver distraction and / or intoxication. If a driver looks away for a period of time, such as at a smartphone, or fails to keep their hands on the steering wheel, a representative from Volvo’s on-call assistance centers will call them to check in. Drivers who aren’t watching the road, or even have their eyes closed, will be warned as well. If they don’t respond, the car will slow and even stop. The system will roll-out to all Volvo cars by early 2020…
As cameras proliferate in the name of safety, there’s a real chance they can be misused to invade privacy. At an event in Sweden Wednesday, the company preemptively dismissed this criticism by likening it to early objection to seatbelt laws.