Spy in the dashboard

Everywhere we go we are being watched.

The nightmare of a world in which everything we do is monitored, analysed, then judged, is getting closer.

Our security obsessed society means that, every day, anyone who lives in a big city can expect to have his or her photo taken up to 300 times.

There are now an estimated 350 million surveillance cameras worldwide.

If you go on a simple half an hour drive to the shops it’s quite possible you could have your picture taken, of you driving your car, and in the shops, at least 15 times.

Now Citroën tell me that new EU laws passed earlier this year will make this diabolical intrusion into people’s privacy even worse.

From 2022 a driver drowsiness and distraction warning system will become obligatory on all new cars across the EU.

As if we haven’t got enough nanny warnings already.

That’s because, since 2015, there have been 4,000 accidents and 150 fatalities caused by driver fatigue … and those figures are just for the UK alone.

DS Automobiles, part of the huge PSA empire that includes Peugeot, Citroën and Vauxhall (Opel), have already got a driver monitoring system available on the DS 7 Crossback and soon it will be on all their cars.

It helps keep drivers alert and prevents them from falling asleep at the wheel, while it also tracks signs of tiredness.

The system combines a pair of infrared cameras focused on the driver with continuous vehicle position monitoring.

Driver-facing cameras, mounted above the steering wheel and at the top of the windscreen, monitor three key physical signs of distraction or drowsiness; movement of the eyes, eyelids or neck.

If any of these are detected, an audible alert is set off and a warning notice appears on the digital instrumentation display.

At the same time, vehicle position monitoring constantly tracks the car in relation to road markings and warns the driver with an audible alert if there are any sudden or unexpected steering movements.

Head of Product, Vince Clisham, said: “Distracted and tired drivers are a serious safety threat on roads across the UK and it is the cause of thousands of accidents a year, with some ending in fatalities.”

Big brother is more than watching us.

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