Panasonic Corporation has developed technology for detecting and predicting a person’s level of drowsiness prior to driving.
The system detects a driver’s shallow drowsiness at the initial state by measuring the driver’s states without physical contact, including blinking features and facial expressions, captured by a camera, and processing these signals using artificial intelligence.
Using data from the interior, such as heat loss from the driver and illuminance, the system predicts transitions in the driver’s drowsiness level. It also includes a thermal sensation monitoring function, allowing the driver to stay comfortably awake while driving.
The idea is not new – Toyota’s Lexus was one of the first automakers to fit a driver alertness system, initially to top models but Panasonic argues conventional systems have difficulty predicting transitions in drowsiness.
“Conventional anti-hypnotic stimulant systems use alarm sounds and vibrations to wake up users, which can make them feel uncomfortable,” the supplier said.
The new technology, with 22 patents on file, is suitable for applications in human- and environment-monitoring systems for use in such places including private and commercial vehicles, offices and educational institutions; drowsiness-prediction systems; and drowsiness-control systems for keeping people awake.