The Transport Research Laboratory, TRL, has released a report to the European Commission about improving the safety of drivers and protecting vulnerable road users.
It means cameras which trigger an alarm if a driver falls asleep or uses a mobile phone at the wheel could even be a legal safety requirement in new vehicles across Europe by the end of the decade.
Richard Cuerden, TRL’s chief scientist (pictured) is quoted as saying the technology is a “big deal” in terms of its life-saving potential, adding that he wanted it installed in every new vehicle, telling the Sunday Times, “We are quite excited about it”.
The Telegraph quotes DfT figures saying there has been a 41 per cent increase in accidents linked to drivers using their mobile phones, from 349 in 2010 to 492 last year.
Fatigue was also a contributory factor in 2,046 accidents last year — up 16 per cent on 1,766 crashes in 2010.
Volvo has already developed a one-inch diameter dashboard-mounted camera which monitors a driver’s gaze and whether his or her eyelids are closing.
Ford offers a similar system which can evaluate a driver’s awareness by monitoring the vehicle’s position in relation to lane markings, by using cameras facing forward into the road.
A spokeswoman for the commission told the Telegraph, “Technologies are becoming available on the market now and we will have to assess their technical capabilities.”
European Commission officials who are currently devising new safety proposals for car manufacturers.