Research Reports

Real-Time Nonintrusive Detection of Driver Drowsiness - Phase II

Principal Investigator:

Xun Yu

December 2010

Report no. CTS 10-16

Projects: Real-time Nonintrusive Detection of Driver Drowsiness - Phase II - FY09 NATSRL

Topics: Driver Performance and Behavior, Safety

This project is the extension of the Northland Advanced Transportation System Research Laboratory (NATSRL) FY 2008 project titled "Real-time Nonintrusive Detection of Driver Drowsiness," which aims to develop a real-time, nonintrusive driver drowsiness detection system to reduce drowsiness-caused accidents. Biosensor is built on the vehicle steering wheel to measure driver's heartbeat signals. Heart rate variability (HRV), a physiological signal that has established links to waking/sleepiness stages, thus can be analyzed from the pulse signals for the detection of driver drowsiness. The novel design of measuring heartbeat signals from biosensors on the steering wheel and seatback makes this drowsiness detection system one with almost no annoyance to the driver, and the use of this physiological signal can ensure the accuracy of drowsiness detection. In Phase I, a biosensor with a pair of electrodes built on steering wheel was tested for the measurement of heartbeat for HRV analysis. However, this design requires the driver put both hands on the steering wheel to measure the heart rate. In Phase II, a new biosensor is designed that can measure heart rate even when only one hand is on the steering wheel, which happens very often in real driving situations. More extensive lab tests were carried out to study the change of HRV signals with driver drowsiness.

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