It's no longer future stuff, Volvo are going to launch in-car cameras this year to monitor the driver's behaviour and biometrics. All for safety of course.
They started back in 2014 with testing this technology and with teaching the system to understand human behaviour, for instance in stressful city driving situations.
Since then technology took a big leap forwards. Atif Rafiq, Volvo's chief digital officer is very positive about the benefits that the cameras bring to customers: "They’re very advanced these days: they can determine a driver’s glucose levels by looking at their pupils, so could call a loved one or hospital if it detected a health problem. Cars will understand your state and destress you on your way back from work."
So, Volvo being Volvo their primary goal is occupant safety, and now they even want to predict driver health problems before they happen.
Okay, nevertheless the first thing that comes to mind here is privacy concerns obviously. So first of all, it'll be only an option. No customer will be forced to have these in the car. And the footage will be anonymised and needless to say it won't get shared.
But Volvo believes that customers will rapidly learn to trust onboard cameras. I don't really know what to think about all of that but just think of the latest Smartphones with face recognition. The modern consumer apparently either doesn't care being watched, or quickly gets over it because of the benefits.
Volvo actually thinks of using the cameras for ID purposes too. So your car could recognise you and automatically set climate control, seating position, mirror adjustments to your preferences. In autonomous cars, they can also be used for video conferencing and probably for many things we don't even have any idea of right now...
Creepy or useful? Would you want your car to film you?