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Japanese car maker Toyota will incorporate a monitor in their new Lexus that recognises the direction of a driver’s face and then warns of a possible collision.

Toyota has announced that it has improved its pre-crash safety system by adding a driver-monitoring function that recognises the orientation of the driver’s face and warns of a collision. The system will be mounted on the new model of Lexus slated for launch in spring 2006.

The system uses millimeter-wave radar to monitor obstacles ahead. If it detects probability of a collision when a driver is not looking straight ahead, then it turns on the warning light and buzzer. If the warning fails to make the driver face forward, the system determines that a collision is imminent and then automatically applies a slight brake for a moment to alert the driver to danger.

The system includes an automotive camera mounted on the steering column to monitor the orientation of the driver’s face. In addition, a computer is mounted to recognize the image of the driver’s face shot with the camera.

According to Toyota, most vehicle accidents are caused by lack of drivers’ awareness. Compared to the company’s previous pre-crash safety system, the company boasts the newly improved system allows the warning at an earlier stage and that accordingly the danger of collision will likely to reduce.

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