London, July 23: The latest invention by engineers is all set to change the way we drive cars.
They have creating a gadget that controls a car’s functions using facial expressions like nods and winks.
The infra-red sensor mounted on the dash board recognises the driver’s facial expression to control the car.
A computer hidden inside the car translates the gestures, which corresponds to a list of commands for the radio, Sat Nav, heating and mobile phone.
The gestures, which are being tested before being finalised, include a wink to turn the radio and music player on and off.
The technology differentiates between an accidental blink and a wink by the length of time of the action before turning the radio on or off.
Drivers can nod left to turn the volume up and right to turn it down while a tap on the steering wheel will skip the station or song.
They can even make a phone call by making the ‘lifting the receiver gesture’ with their hand and dial by speaking out the name of the person they wish to call.
Motorists can even control the air conditioning and heating by raising and lowering their left hand above the gear stick which also has another computer sensor mounted inside.
The technology means drivers would be able to control the functions inside the car without being distracted from the road.
Engineers from global infotainment specialists Harman have created a prototype car, which could hit the roads in two years time.
“It’s all about reducing distractions in the car,” the Daily Mail quoted Hans Roth, director of technology at Harman, as saying.
“If you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel or look down then it’s obviously safer. The first one we worked on uses hand gestures and facial recognition so things like a wink or a nod or even a tilt of the head.
“You would make a gesture with your hand, like tapping your finger or making a movement. That is two or three years from being available in mass production in cars,” Roth said.
The director revealed that they were still testing a list of gestures, which could be standard for all cars across the world.
“We’ve started it and now it’s about choosing the right gestures and getting it to production,” he said.
“You’ve got to make sure it’s culturally acceptable. In Italy for example drivers use hand gestures a lot when they drive so it needs finalising.
“But we are confident the hand gestures will be available two or three years,” he added. (ANI)