Researchers at Berlin's Free University today announced they have developed new technology that lets drivers steer cars using only their eyes.
Raul Rojas, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Institute of Computer Science, and his team from the Artificial Intelligence Group demonstrated how they can steer a specially equipped vehicle with one eye.
A demonstration took place at the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport using a Dodge Caravan called Spirit of Berlin.
Using EyeDriver, the driver wears a converted bicycle helmet that is equipped with two cameras and an infrared LED. One of the cameras points in the same direction as the driver (scene camera), and the other camera is trained on one of the driver's eyes (eye camera). The information is gathered by a laptop computer using technology called HED4, which was developed by SMI. Then the information is relayed via LAN to an onboard computer in the vehicle.
The driver can choose between two modes: "free ride" and "routing." In "free ride" mode, the viewing positions are linked directly with the steering wheel motor, so the steering wheel turns in whichever direction the driver looks. In "routing" mode, the Spirit of Berlin steers autonomously most of the time. When the car comes to an intersection, it asks the driver to select the next route. This requires the driver to hold a stare in either direction for 3 seconds.