Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New automotive technology prevents accidents caused by drowsiness during driving

Aisin Seki Co., Ltd, Japan, has developed an eyelid monitor and identified symptoms in eyelid behaviour that indicate drowsiness in motorists. The new automated technology (Intelligent Transport System (ITS)) eliminates the fallibility of human judgement in gauging when drowsiness is becoming a driving hazard.

Intelligent Transport System (ITS): New automotive technology from Aisin Seki Co. Ltd, Japan, prevents accidents caused by drowsiness during driving

The location of the vehicle occupants and the experimental instruments

Copyright : Aisin Seki Co. Ltd

Intelligent Transport System (ITS): Test drives demonstrate the reliability of Aisin¡¯s eyelid monitor to pre-empt lapses in motorist competence.

Aisin Seki Co., Ltd, Japan, has developed an eyelid monitor and identified symptoms in eyelid behaviour that indicate drowsiness in motorists. The new automated technology (Intelligent Transport System (ITS)) eliminates the fallibility of human judgement in gauging when drowsiness is becoming a driving hazard.

While a number of physiological factors can indicate drowsiness monitoring eyelid movements is generally less restrictive for the driver. Aisin¡¯s eyelid monitor tracks a range of variables such as blink speed and frequency and average eyelid position. Trials of the new technology on motorists driving along a test track confirmed the reliability of using these measured parameters to rate the drowsiness level of the driver.
The company have also used their monitoring systems to identify other behavioural symptoms that indicate lapses in driving competency. Eye movement speed and fluctuations in the vergence angle ¡ª which indicates where the line of sight of right and left eye converge ¡ª are both linked with incidents of people deviating off lane and slow driver reaction times in driving simulations.

Drowsiness is a serious driving hazard worldwide and ranks as the number one cause of fatal car accidents in Japan. Aisin¡¯s ¡®quality first¡¯ corporate principles include a commitment to social contributions. The drowsiness monitoring systems will soon be available in Toyota¡¯s cars, providing significant improvements to road safety.


Drowsiness during driving is a worldwide hazard, motivating a number of campaigns worldwide to encourage driver to take regular breaks and plan journeys responsibly. In Japan drowsiness is the number one cause of fatal accidents on the road. Automating identification of the onset of drowsiness can help to eliminate the tragic human errors of misjudging when it is no longer safe to drive.


Physiological factors that may indicate drowsiness include eyelid movement, pupil fluctuation, heart rate, and skin potential activity. Monitoring eyelid movements is a promising approach to detecting drowsiness before it becomes a hazard because it is less restrictive for the driver. Reliable use of eyelid movement symptoms to identify drowsiness required investigative analysis of eyelid behaviour recorded with special monitoring equipment to clarify the relationship.

Results from driving simulators include effects that are not always present in real world circumstances, such as sickness and a greater tendency towards drowsiness due to the lower levels of stress in a simulator. For these reasons Aisin Seki uses real test runs for motor equipment evaluations.

1. Eyelid movement

Nine test drivers took part in the evaluation, each accompanied by an observer and an operator. They drove at a constant speed of 60 km/h for 80 minutes or until the observer judged that they were no longer fit to drive.

The monitoring equipment retrieves eyelid movement data from video frame images of the driver¡¯s face recorded at 30 frames per second while driving. Eight quantities were recorded: average blinking intervals, average eyelid closure duration, maximum eyelid closure duration, blink frequency, average eyelid closure velocity, average eyelid opening velocity, average eyelid position, and integrated eyelid closure duration. These values were then used to identify five levels of drowsiness: 1, not drowsy; 2, a little drowsy; 3, drowsy; 4, considerably drowsy; and 5, very drowsy.

Significant difference statistical analysis confirmed the reliability of the drowsiness monitoring system. A significant difference of 0.1% was found for the recorded quantities.

2. Eye movement

Aisin Seki has also identified the link between eye movement and lapses in motorist concentration during driving simulations. They used their specialised eye monitoring equipment to record the movements of left and right eye during driving. Slow fluctuation of the eyes and rapid fluctuation of the vergence angle, which measures the focal point of the line of sight of right and left eye, were both found to precede incidents when the car deviated from its lane or the driver¡¯s reaction times were increased.

The results

Aisin Seki has identified symptoms in eye behaviour that can reliably indicate driver drowsiness before an accident occurs. Due to the standard deviation overlap between the values recorded for eyelid movement quantities at adjacent drowsiness levels, more than one quantity may need to be monitored for reliable results. The company is developing an algorithm with a secured estimate accuracy that combines multiple measured eyelid movement quantities. The drowsiness monitor should prove a valuable asset in the prevention of fatal motoring accidents.

About Aisin Seki Co. Ltd

Aisin Seki produces and sells automobile parts as well as living, energy and welfare related products. The company is committed to its corporate principles that focus on putting ¡®quality first¡¯. Aisin Seki has 2 offices and 11 plants across Japan with over 90,000 employees and subsidiaries that include 69 companies in Japan and 101 overseas. As of 31 March 2012, the company¡¯s capital was 45 billion JPY. For more information, visit

About Aisin Seki Co. Ltd reliability evaluation

In 1970, Aisin Seiki became one of the first automotive parts makers in the world to construct its own integrated testing track and proving ground facility. The company uses the latest facilities and equipment to reproduce a range of road conditions from around the world. In line with its corporate principle of putting ¡®quality first¡¯, the company conducts countless evaluation tests of automotive parts to ensure quality and comfort as well as responding to the increasing need for product reliability. For more information, visit
Aisin Seki Co. Ltd
Public Relations
2-1, Asahi-machi, Kariya, Aichi, 448-8650 JAPAN
Associated links
Journal information
Technical references
[1] Y. Kamakura, M. Ohsuga, Y. Inoue, Y. Noguchi, ¡°Classification of Blink Waveforms
Towards the Assessment of Driver's Arousal Level. ", Transactions of Society of
Automotive Engineers of Japan, 38(4), 173-178, 20070725 (in Japanese).
[2] J. Nishiyama, K. Tanida, M. Kusumi, Y. Hirata, ¡°Evaluation of the Drowsiness by Pupil
Fluctuation. ", Transactions of the Japanese Society for Medical and Biological
Engineering : BME, 46(2), 212-217, 20080410 (in Japanese).
[3] Y. Nakano, A. Miyakawa, S. Sano, H. Katoh, ¡°Driver Sleepiness Level Detection Based on The Heart Rate. ¡±, 15th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, November 2008, Paper number 10157.

[4] C. Nishimura, A. Kosaka, K. Tsunemitsu, S. Yoshizawa, J. Nagumo, ¡°Evaluation of the arousal level in motorcar driving using skin potential level I£º Changes in skin potential level under various driving conditions. ¡±, The Japanese journal of ergonomics, 23(2), 103 ¨C 110, 1987/04.

[5] J. Adachi, T. Hayashi, K. Ogawa, T. Suzuki, H. Ishiguro, T. Nishina, K. Ohue, S. Uozumi,

S. Kojima, S. Nakanishi, ¡°Development of a Sensor Detecting Eyelid Positions. ¡±, 15th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, November 2008, Paper number 10102.

[6] H. Kitajima, N. Numata, K. Yamamoto, Y. Goi, ¡°Prediction of Automobile Driver Sleepiness : 1stReport, Rating of Sleepiness Based on Facial Expression and Examination of Effective Predictor Indexes of Sleepiness. ", Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. C, Vo1.63, No.613 (19970925) pp. 3059-3066 (in Japanese).

Adarsh Sandhu | Research asia research news
Further information:

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>