The need for advanced safety systems in vehicles are more important than ever. In my spare time, I started developing a system that helps drive safely. It determines the direction of the user's eyesight with the help of a single low resolution camera or even an infrared camera. Analyzing the eye gaze makes it possible to predict the driver's next maneuver. This provides an opportunity to alert the driver before fatal collisions can occur.
An other part of the system can monitor the road using a dashboard camera. It is able to detect objects on the road and measure 3D distances to them. It can be used to alert the driver before collisions via predicting other objects future position or detecting objects outside of the driver sight. It also can monitor the drivers driving behavior and give feedbacks.
My system is also able to recognize driver fatigue and driver drowsiness. Drowsy driving is a major problem. The combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue often causes tragic results. It is responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths annually in the US. My project's goal is to support drivers in accident avoidance and to mitigate the consequences of collisions. To do that, my system monitors the driver's awareness, using computer vision. When driver fatigue or drowsiness is detected, the system alerts the driver to prevent possible accidents. In case of an accident, the system could notify the ambulance and it can provide relevant information such as:
driver's state (consciousness)
how many passengers were in the vehicle
is there a kid in the car etc.
The system also able to alert the driver if distracted driving is detected. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone or using navigation system. Texting on your phone is the most dangerous distraction. Taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds at 25 km/h is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. When distracted driving is detected, the system alerts the driver to prevent possible accidents. The system is also able to detect if the seatbelt is fastened or not.
Who needs a system like mine?
The answer is simple: Any automaker that wants to sell in Europe from 2024. The EU Council of Ministers passed a general safety regulation mandating automakers to install advanced safety systems in all new cars on the EU market. The new regulations will be gradually implemented over the course of four years, starting in 2022 with all new type-approved cars with a certain level of autonomous driving capability. By 2026, the law will include all newly produced cars on the EU market, no matter their level of automation. With the new regulation in place, it is believed at least 140,000 serious injuries will be have been avoided by 2038.