, Former Associate Professor, UMD-Mechanical & Industrial Eng
This project is the extension of the Northland Advanced Transportation System Research Laboratory (NATSRL) FY2008 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. Biosensors are built on the vehicle steering wheel to measure heart rate variability (HRV), a physiological signal that has established links to waking/sleepiness stages, which can thus 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.
In Phase I, a biosensor with a pair of electrodes built on a 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.