SWEDEN: Volvo unit invests in tiredness technology

By just-auto.com editorial team | 18 December 2007

Volvo on Tuesday said its technology transfer unit is now investing in Seeing Machines, which is a technology developed by an Australian company that detects and warns vehicle drivers in the event of tiredness.

Experiences from Volvo's accident investigations and general traffic safety research show that accidents are a combination of the human factor, vehicle problems and/or the traffic environment, in which the human factor accounts for 90% of accidents.

This was confirmed by new research conducted at the Virginia Tech Transport Institute that demonstrates even more distinctly that inattentiveness, due to tiredness or distraction, is the single largest and most significant cause of accidents.

Volvo said Seeing Machines is a company that arose from the research results from a number of research projects at the Australian National University (ANU) between 1997 and 2000.

The company specialises in computerised technology that is able to track and follow head and eye movements and facial expressions. The technology is applicable for products within areas including vehicle safety, medical diagnosing, simulation, marketing and games.

Toyota's latest Lexus line offers crash-prevention/mitigation technology that monitors the driver's head position using sensors mounted on the steering column.