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March 9, 2020

Seat uses AI to combat driver fatigue

Seat says it is researching and developing artificial intelligence technology to combat driver fatigue and improve road safety.

By Rhodri Morgan

Seat says it is researching and developing artificial intelligence technology to combat driver fatigue and improve road safety.

Seat’s Xplora team, in conjunction with Eyesight Technologies, is developing advanced technology that studies a driver’s eyes and head movement to detect if they are falling asleep or are distracted.

It uses an algorithm which analyses eye openness, angle of vision, blink rate and head position of the driver, along with other visual attributes.

In the event it detects the driver is drowsy, asleep or perhaps distracted by their mobile phone, it will trigger an alert. The technology can also identify the driver from previous trips and adjust the seats, mirrors, heating settings and other cabin features according to their personal preferences.

Eventually, the software will be able to detect pedestrians and analyse whether the driver has spotted them as well.

Research has shown driver distraction and tiredness are among the biggest dangers on the roads, contributing to 36% of road traffic collisions.

Seat is also working alongside Gauzy, which is developing an active glazing technology that adapts to weather conditions. It gives the driver the ability to darken windows, within legal limits, to avoid being dazzled by the sun while lighten the windows in darker environments and weather conditions.

“In total more than 90% of the road accidents in Europe are caused by human factor,” said Seat head of Product Innovation, Stefan Ilijevic. “The main reasons include distraction and tiredness, excessive speed, alcohol and drugs.

“At Seat, we are working on solutions to prevent negligence behind the steering wheel and significantly reduce road accidents.

“We partner with some of the world’s brightest companies on important technology to save lives, since our long-term vision is a world with zero accidents.”

Seat’s Xplora team searches for companies which develop connected car technology and smart mobility services.

Eyesight Technologies, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, uses advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence to improve road safety. Gauzy was started in the kitchen of one of its founders, who was looking for a way to make windows more private.

Seat launched Xplora with Champion Motors, which is the Volkswagen Group’s brand importer in Israel and in two years has worked with more than 200 emerging Israeli businesses.

Their team is responsible for finding solutions which enhance well-being and safety, cybersecurity, sustainability and artificial intelligence.

The aim is to carry out at least ten proofs of concept every year to test how selected innovations would adapt in vehicles and services.

“This concentration of emerging companies makes Tel Aviv one of the easiest global innovation hubs to explore for solutions that improve our cars and services,” added Seat head of scouting for Israel, Aitor Aizkorreta.

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