Hyundai Mobis has found dangerous situations like drowsy driving can be reduced by up to a third when applying driver monitoring technology based on brain waves.

The company and the Gyeonggi Research Institute have been trialling the ‘M.Brain’ driver monitoring system on Gyeonggi-do public buses as a pilot project for the past year.

Drivers using the system in South Korea showed higher concentration levels and were less exposed to the dangers of being inattentive. The technology monitors brain waves around the ears through a pair of earsets the user wears. When a driver becomes inattentive, M.Brain uses visual, sound, and haptic alerts to help the driver recover attention.

Drivers using the system were able to cut down on their inattentiveness by up to 30% after meals, which is when drowsiness occurs the most. M.Brain reduced inattentive driving by about 20% on highways where such driving could result in a major crash.

It was also proven that M.Brain can help drivers to look ahead quickly even when they doze off or look elsewhere while driving. M.Brain detects inattentive driving in real time and alerts the driver through seat vibrations or warning sounds. It was also revealed attention could be restored in 2.3 seconds, approximately three times faster than 6.7 seconds in situations without using M.Brain.

Hyundai Mobis will expand the deployment of M.Brain to 300 public buses by the end of this year. The plan is to increase the size of the demonstration and adopt deep learning to speed up the analysis process.

Competing systems use biosignals that are relatively easier to measure, such as those from the pupil of the eye or a pulse. Hyundai Mobis, however, claims to be the first in the world to develop a brain wave technology that is one step more sophisticated than simple biosignal technologies and to also collect large-scale data on this.