The Skill To Defend You

Your car could determine if you have too much to drink

Self-driving cars are now a reality, if only for a select few. However, Volvo has put a twist on the concept since it announced that it will use an in-vehicle cameras to monitor the behavior of the driver starting in 2020 models. If the driver appears to be distracted by their device or driving while intoxicated, the car will literally pull over and park itself.

Volvo already has a reputation for building some of the safest cars available. Plus, the car maker’s home country of Sweden is famous for DUI laws and enforcement. However, this could cause concern among privacy advocate and others who do not like the idea of machine or device telling them what to do.

The car cuts you off

If the vehicle senses that the driver does not have their hands on the steering wheel or eyes on the road, it will notify Volvo’s on-call assistance, which will then check on the driver. The car will also sense if the driver is falling asleep behind the wheel. It the driver does not respond to on-call assistance, the car will slow or stop.

This measure is part of a Vision 2020 initiative where the manufacturer is striving to eliminate motor vehicle fatalities in its vehicles. The company has also announced that all its vehicles will be put on a governor the allows a top speed of 112 miles per hour.

Personal liberty at the expense of safety?

Cadillac also has an onboard camera that it uses to aid the driver in hands free cruise control. This allows the driver to direct the vehicle hands free if the driver keeps their eyes on the road. If the eyes leave the road, there is an escalating series of warnings.

While advocates believe the concerns are similar to that of when seatbelts became law, critics are concerned about personal liberty. Perhaps even worse, technology owned by the driver could be used against them if they are charged with distracted driving or driving under the influence. While this seems far in the future, attorneys will be representing drivers sooner than would seem possible.