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How to detect fatigue or distraction behind the wheel with the help of artificial intelligence

Manufacturers prepare for a new generation of vehicles with fatigue or distraction detection systems that will soon be mandatory in the European market Credit: Continental

Intelligence out and in. Cars must communicate with the exterior and become a Big Brother for drivers and passengers. Cameras and sensors will monitor any hint of drowsiness or forgetfulness in motorists and there is a date marked on the calendar: 2022. One of the world's leading suppliers of automotive components has already announced advanced monitoring technology with
artificial intelligence


 that detecting tiredness or distractions, one of the main causes of traffic accidents. The system can even take control of the car if necessary.

"This new camera, integrated into the steering wheel, differs from the rest by artificial intelligence. It uses algorithms that allow automated learning of the camera, which in this way really understands what the driver is doing at all times. Based on the position and the movement of the eyelids, the system knows if drowsiness or an oversight is occurring, "says a spokesman for Bosch, a company that develops this type of system. From that information, it sends a warning to the driver or even slows down the vehicle. This last possibility will depend on the decision of the brand that integrates the device in the car and, in addition, on the regulation of each country.

Mandatory in two years

This technology is not a fantasy for the cars of the future: to be reality by law. Any car that is homologated in Europe from 2022 (that is to say, that exceeds the standards set by Community regulations) will have to include this type of technological assistance; Any new tourism that has been on sale since 2024, too.

And thinking of another horizon, these systems will be essential in autonomous level 3 cars (capable of driving on their own in controlled environments, but always with human supervision), still not allowed by the EU and that will need to monitor the motorist continuously. "When using automated highway driving systems, the motorist will receive a warning when the car is going to leave the road and need some time to resume driving. This camera will know if the driver is really in a position to regain control and also prevent him from falling asleep by sounding an alarm, "they explain from Bosch. To guarantee the privacy of motorists and users, the aforementioned company ensures that the recordings will remain in the system itself, without the possibility of being shared.

"Detection systems have been investigating for about 20 years, both based on optical (touch) technologies, which monitor how the driver acts on the steering wheel, and those that use cameras that control the movement of the pupils of the eyelids or facial muscles ", summarizes Juan Dols, researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Toyota, for example, has focused on facial recognition to detect distractions, anxiety or aggressiveness, and technology companies like Denso, Tobii or Toshiba have advanced in a similar line.

Ford proposed in 2012 a

biometric measurement system

 to detect stress behind the wheel with temperature, pulse and respiratory rate sensors. Continental, for its part, developed the technology in 2015

Driver Focus

, based on an infrared camera that monitored the movement of the eyes and bands of light on the dashboard that guided the gaze towards the road if necessary.


"As it records driver images, this camera will recognize the habitual position of the eyelids and the flicker rate, and thanks to that it will be able to effectively detect risky situations," explains the Bosch spokesperson about the company's device. "What artificial intelligence allows is to use particular parameters for each driver because he learns from them very quickly," says Juan Dols. "Eye movement is not the same in a young person as in an older person, in a man than in a woman, in an aggressive driver than in a calm one, but the sampling frequency is very fast, of milliseconds, and a algorithm gathers a lot of bestial information in a very short time. Probably in a few hours it will have perfectly identified the driver "


. (tagsToTranslate) How to detect fatigue or distraction behind the wheel with the help of artificial intelligence – LA NACION