Technologies


Microwave and Acoustic Detection of Drowsiness

Reference#: P01471


Detecting drowsiness and fatigue prior to the driver falling asleep can save lives. Through observation and reactions to the warnings of fatigue and drowsiness, the driver has an opportunity for countermeasures such as napping or getting a cup of coffee before they endanger himself and/or others.

The APL drowsy driver system detects drowsiness and fatigue prior to the driver falling asleep. The warnings can begin as the driver becomes fatigued and intensify as the system detects increasing drowsiness, providing the driver with the opportunity for countermeasures such as napping or getting a cup of coffee before they endanger himself and/or others. There are several alternative technologies to DDDS, each with its own limitations. For example, Active IR PERCLOS sensing functions either in daylight or for a significant fraction of the population. In addition, the cost of the PERCLOS system is significantly greater than that of the APL system. Other technologies, such as those that detect head motion, do not warn the driver of drowsiness and fatigue until the driver has fallen asleep and possibly lost control of the vehicle. The ideal system should begin warning the driver of drowsiness early before fatigue significantly impairs driving ability.

The system is noninvasive, collecting pertinent driver fatigue data under all driving conditions including bright sunlight, through the use of a low-power Doppler radar system. The system detects the onset of fatigue and measures its effect on the driver's activity level and eyelid behavior. The final design size of the DDDS is small and could be mounted in the overhead instrument module.

The Drowsy Driver Detection System (DDDS) senses the onset of drowsiness and tracks fatigue. The detection system uses Doppler radar and sophisticated signal processing to measure changes as a person becomes drowsy and falls asleep. The changes that accompany drowsiness include changes in general activity (fidgeting), eye blink frequency and duration, and eyelid movement.

For more information, go to: http://www.jhuapl.edu/ott/technologies/featuredtech/DDDS/

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 6,661,345 issued.

CONTACT:
Dr. G. R. Jacobovitz
Phone: (443) 778-9899
ott-techmanager3@jhuapl.edu


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