Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

WSU innovation improves drowsy driver detection

24.04.2014

Researchers at Washington State University Spokane have developed a new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel.

Their recently patented technology is based on steering wheel movements—which are more variable in drowsy drivers—and offers an affordable and more reliable alternative to currently available video-based driver drowsiness detection systems.

“Video-based systems that use cameras to detect when a car is drifting out of its lane are cumbersome and expensive,” said Hans Van Dongen, research professor at the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center. “They don’t work well on snow-covered or curvy roads, in darkness or when lane markers are faded or missing.

“Our invention provides an inexpensive and user-friendly technology that overcomes these limitations and can help catch fatigue earlier, well before accidents are likely to happen,” said Van Dongen, who developed the technology with postdoctoral research fellow Pia Forsman.

The science behind the invention was published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention. Researchers analyzed data from two laboratory experiments conducted at WSU Spokane.

Twenty-nine participants were on a simulated 10-day night shift schedule that caused moderate levels of fatigue, as assessed by their performance on a widely used alertness test known as the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT). During each night shift, participants spent four 30-minute sessions on a high-fidelity driving simulator, which captured data for 87 different metrics related to speed, acceleration, steering, lane position and other factors.

Data analysis indicated that the two factors that best predicted fatigue were variability in steering wheel movements and variability in lane position.
Researchers then showed that data on steering wheel variability can be used to predict variability in lane position early on, making it possible to detect driver drowsiness before the car drifts out of its lane.

“We wanted to find out whether there may be a better technique for measuring driver drowsiness before fatigue levels are critical and a crash is imminent,” Van Dongen said. “Our invention provides a solid basis for the development of an early detection system for moderate driver drowsiness. It could also be combined with existing systems to extend their functionality in detecting severe driver drowsiness.”

The solution uses inexpensive, easy-to-install parts—including a sensor that measures the position of the steering wheel—and could be included as part of a factory installation or as an aftermarket accessory.

A patent for this method of measuring driver drowsiness has been assigned to WSU under patent number 8676444, with Van Dongen and Forsman as the inventors.

The paper describing their work was published in Vol. 50 of Accident Analysis & Prevention with Forsman—now with the University of Helsinki in Finland—as the lead author. Coauthors include Van Dongen; WSU researchers Bryan Vila and Robert Short; and Christopher Mott of Pulsar Informatics, a private firm that develops behavioral alertness technology. 

Contacts:

Hans Van Dongen, WSU Spokane Sleep and Performance Research Center, 509-358-7755, hvd@wsu.edu

Judith Van Dongen, WSU Spokane/WSU News, 509-358-7524, jcvd@wsu.edu

Hans Van Dongen | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
https://news.wsu.edu/2014/04/22/wsu-innovation-improves-drowsy-driver-detection/#.U1jJvGGKDcs

Further reports about: Accident Analysis Informatics Performance Prevention Pulsar acceleration invention variability

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht Automated driving: Steering without limits
05.02.2016 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Pioneering joining technology for high performance hybrid automotive parts
18.12.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 2+1 is Not Always 3 - In the microworld unity is not always strength

If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”

In the microscopic world, where the modern miniaturized machines at the new frontiers of technology operate, as long as we are in the presence of two...

Im Focus: Tiny microbots that can clean up water

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.

Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...

Im Focus: ORNL researchers discover new state of water molecule

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...

Im Focus: Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...

Im Focus: New world record for fullerene-free polymer solar cells

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This work is about avoiding costly and unstable fullerenes.

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The “AC21 International Forum 2016” is About to Begin

27.04.2016 | Event News

Soft switching combines efficiency and improved electro-magnetic compatibility

15.04.2016 | Event News

Grid-Supportive Buildings Give Boost to Renewable Energy Integration

12.04.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Identifying drug targets for leukaemia

02.05.2016 | Life Sciences

Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering

02.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

NASA's Fermi Telescope helps link cosmic neutrino to blazar blast

02.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>