Can smartwatch help prevent car accidents?

person using a smartwatch inside a car

Smartwatches are fun and useful gadgets, but did you know that they can help prevent car accidents? It sounds strange at first, but researchers are working on turning these devices into accident avoidance systems. Here’s how a watch on your wrist could save your life.

Assisting Drivers

ADAS, or advanced driver assistance systems, are becoming the norm in today’s vehicles. This technology combines radar with video cameras in a way that allows a car to “see” its surroundings. When an accident is about to occur, ADAS combines with other systems allow the car to apply the brakes or steer out of the way. However, there are two issues the come with these safety features. 

While driver assistance technology can save lives, people often become annoyed with the lights and noises designed to alert them to a potential accident. Drivers end up turning them off, defeating the purpose altogether. 

When drivers leave their ADAS active, those same lights and sounds can become a distraction while driving. In critical moments, they can even cause accidents. These incidents are more frequent than most people think, leading to the need for medical care and legal professionals like this car accident attorney in Orange County

The Smartwatch Solution

As of now, there is no other way to show drivers that their ADAS is active and alert them to potential accidents. However, researches believe that additional cameras and smartwatch connectivity could be the solution. 

With a camera on the dashboard, a car’s ADAS could track motion and eye movement to determine when a driver is already aware of an impending accident. This would allow safety systems to forego their sounds and lights, keeping the driver’s focus on safely maneuvering their vehicle. 

Smartwatches can combine with the additional camera and ADAS to detect increased heart rate and tightened muscles, contributing to the same purpose. They can also connect via Bluetooth, allowing the watch to be the ADAS warning. 

Ultimately, the goal is to better understand how humans respond to the panic of a potential accident. While more studies are needed, the combination of smartwatches, connectivity, and cameras could save countless lives.

Looking to the Future

It takes more than connectivity to make smartwatches part of a vehicle’s ADAS. There would need to be a companion app that integrates with the existing technology. Another challenge would be creating the technology that senses muscle tension.

While those two aspects pose a challenge, smartwatches are already capable of monitoring heart rate and connecting to modern vehicles. As for the dashboard camera, all of that technology already exists and is currently integrated into ADAS. The next step would be to ensure they have facial recognition and can detect eye movement, much like Apple’s live emojis or several of Snapchat’s filters. 

Not only could this addition to ADAS help prevent accidents, but it could also offer new evidence in car accident cases. The ability to tell exactly when panicked responses occurred could help prove liability, while upgraded cameras might be able to tell who is at fault according to local road regulations. The technology is still a long ways off, but it’s an exciting development in driver safety.