Yandex Using Facial Recognition to Identify Sleepy Drivers in Russia

Ride-hailing services have been rising in popularity in Russia. With more cars on the road, accidents have also been increasing. Last year the country saw 200,000 traffic accidents which killed 28,000 people. Moscow alone saw 764 accidents which resulted in 23 deaths. Some companies are turning to artificial intelligence to help make the roads safer.

Russia’s largest taxi service Yandex will be using facial recognition in an attempt to help identify exhausted and impaired drivers. They will be installing a device in the car’s windshield that will look for things like yawning, slumping posture and excessive blinking.

The software can analyze 68 facial points in an attempt to see how the drivers feeling. If the AI determines that the driver is sleepy, they will be unable to make pickups until they have had a break.

Facial Recognition to be Rolled Out In Thousands of Cars

The company has already tested the facial recognition tech in 100 cars and they plan to officially roll out the program to several thousand vehicles in the next few months.

Yandex recently merged with Uber allowing drivers to access riders from both apps. In the US, Uber does monitor driver fatigue but uses a simpler approach. The app will simply stop working after 12 hours of usage with a six-hour rest period allowing the driver to hopefully get some sleep.

Check out our articles on facial recognition traffic robots in China and autonomous parking in Maryland.