Driver Drowsiness Detection

  Driver Drowsiness Detection is a term used to describe a feature or combination of features that observes driver patterns and alerts you if the system detects signs of drowsiness or lack of attention.
  Drowsiness detection systems are very useful on long trips requiring several hours of driving especially on highways or long stretches or road. It may also be useful during late night driving even if the journey may not be too long.
  These systems use a variety of sensors, usually a combination of its own dedicated sensors and other sensors that are used by other features such as the pedal position sensor for example.
  These sensors measure one or both of two things;
  1. Driver patterns and habits, the system can monitor the operations of the driver during long trips to determine signs of drowsiness and fatigue. For example if lane departure warning detects that the vehicle is constantly drifting off lane.
  2. The position and expression of the driver's head and face, sensors usually located around the instrument panel constantly monitor the driver's head and/or face. Facial recognition technology similar to what is found on digital cameras may be used to identify facial features and position.
  By using the information from both of the measurements above an on board computer/ ECU can determine drowsiness or reduced attentiveness while driving and alert the driver.
  The alert given by various driver drowsiness detection systems is a visual warning in the instrument panel usually telling the driver that he or she may be drowsy and should take a break.
  The system can be used in other ways such as in the Lexus LS where the sensors monitor the driver's face and head while the front of the car is being constantly scanned. If the LS is in close proximity of colliding into an object and the system observes the driver is not looking forward then the driver is alerted and the brakes are pre-charged.
  Several marques have driver drowsiness detection systems installed on some of their vehicles using different names specific to each marque. Commom names are Volvo's "Driver Alert Control" and Mercedes Benz "Attention Assist".
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