The Council of the European Union voted to adopt regulations proposed by the European Parliament in March 2019 to mandate the presence of advanced safety systems in automobiles in the coming years. Under the new rules, all motor vehicles will have to be equipped with a comprehensive set of 15 safety functions. In particular Driver Monitoring Systems, including driver drowsiness and attention warning systems, will play a relevant role in such a new safety scenario.
Consequently, innovative and very reliable technologies, to avoid false negative episodes, must be developed in order to support the implementation of the EU’s long-term strategic goal of "Vision Zero". Drowsiness seriously impairs peoples’ ability to drive, as they ﬁnd it difﬁcult to maintain their attention on the task. This is a harmful risk on the road. Furthermore, in the aging society, reduced reaction times, poor eyesight and sudden medical incapacitation are also growing causes of road accidents, where driver monitoring plays a vital role.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for over 72,000 crashes, and 800 deaths per year. In Europe, driver fatigue causes about 6000 deaths every year and many studies claim that the main cause of the 15%–20% of all traffic accidents is driver fatigue.
The substantial difference introduced by the IP developed and validated by SAT, through a rigorous scientific approach, is the capability to predict the sleep onset several minutes before the event. Hence there is the real possibility to regain the driver’s attention level well before a potential accident could occur. Of course such a solution will be important in every application domains where the proper attention level of the subjects can represent a risk factor.
A family of wearable sensor devices, embedding the IPs from SAT, are under development in cooperation with a technological partner. This family of smart connected sensors can be seamlessly integrated in new vehicles but, also, can be successfully applied to the very large number of vehicles (i.e. 307,8 million vehicles) already running in Europe. This way SAT will provide a decisive contribution to improve the quality of live of citizens already in the short term.
Finally, a breakthrough contactless solution is under development with a major technological partner thus providing the widest range of solutions to address multiple applications domains while protecting people and offering valuable services.
"A wearable CPS for the automatic detection and prediction of the awake, drowsiness and sleeping stages"
"Anti-sleep Wearable Assistant Knowledge-Enabled"