Toyota Motor Corp announced that it improved its Pre-crash Safety System by adopting a driver-monitoring camera.

The new system not only detects the direction of the driver's face but also determines whether the driver's eyes are properly open.

In March 2006, the company adopted a function to detect the direction of the driver's face in its Pre-crash Safety System by using a camera installed on the steering. With this function, the system gives a warning if there is a possibility of a collision while the driver is looking away. The company added a new function to detect if the driver is asleep.

The determination of whether or not the driver's eyes are open is made based on the positional relationship between the upper and lower eyelids detected by the driver-monitoring camera and an image processing computer. The system alerts the driver if it senses a possible collision when the eyes are closed.

The company plans to employ the improved Pre-crash Safety System with the driver-monitoring camera in its new models to be launched shortly.