Facial recognition tech will force tired Russian taxi drivers to take breaks


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Bloomberg reports that the country’s largest taxi service, Yandex.Taxi, which merged with Uber Technologies last year, will start installing facial recognition tech via small devices mounted to vehicles’ windshields.

The software checks 68 facial points for signs of tiredness, such as blinking, yawning, and drivers’ heads slumping forwards. If it determines a driver is sleepy and therefore a danger, they will be blocked from accepting passengers on the app until they’ve had a break.

The decision comes as the number of road accidents involving taxis in Moscow jumped to 764 cases, which included 23 deaths, last year. That’s an increase from 541 in 2016 and 607 in 2017. Some officials place the blame on the long hours that drivers are working, with many taking jobs from multiple apps.

As noted by Engadget, some commercial vehicles also use facial recognition to identify tiredness in drivers, including the 2019 Subaru Forester and the Cadillac CT6 sedan, which tracks head positions using infrared light.

Yandex has already tested the technology in 100 of its cars and even showed it to president Vladimir Putin during an artificial intelligence meeting back in May. It plans to roll out the devices to several thousand of its cars soon.

Image credit: onajourney via Shutterstock

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I feel like while this isn't a bad idea by a longshot, I think they've got to be very careful on implementation.
Signs of tiredness, visual tiredness : actual tiredness ratio, and competency when tired will vary on each person so that's gotta be some very complicated software, but yes driving when tired can be as bad as driving when intoxicated.

Also, considered the gig economy, many will work way more hours than they should to make ends meet and this could limit income.


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More Russsian taxi drivers dies than Kremlin oppositionists. That's a bad sign for Putin. Makes Him look weak. If I were Him I would also do something about It! And camera in each taxi is a perfect Orwellan tactic.


Posts: 498   +236
Constant and total control and surveillance. This wont stop with Taxi drivers, this will become mandatory for all cars in some years.

No more going to work early then. The bugs will be hilarious. Imagine you wanna go to work and your car says no you're too tired. That makes you angry and now the car will say no you're too angry. That will make you desperate/crazy and so the car will send you to the mental asylum.

Some months later and with heavy medicamentation you might be allowed to drive your car again for short periods. So you still gotta walk the rest of the way to your office.