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article imageArtificial intelligence helps to keep tired drivers awake

By Tim Sandle     Aug 6, 2017 in Technology
Tokyo - One risk with driving is feeling tired and losing concentration. Sleep related problems exacerbate this risk. To help drivers, Panasonic have developed an artificial intelligence platform.
When autonomous cars become the norm in the future, the risks of being in a vehicle (even in ‘command’ of the vehicle) and tired fall considerably. In the meantime, sleep deprivation causes problems and a large number of accidents are attributable to the tired driver. The effects of sleep loss are also worse than previously thought. In a recent Digital Journal article, we report on Canadian research that suggests driving while sleep deprived is little different from driving after having consumed too much alcohol, in terms of response times.
Panasonic has developed a solution for aiding the tired driver. They have come up with an artificial intelligence platform designed to keep the driver comfortably awake at all times. The device works in different ways according to an assessment for drowsiness, which is made by the platform. Assessing the offering from Panasonic, PC Magazine notes there are five levels of drowsiness that the device can note:
Not drowsy,
Slightly drowsy,
Very drowsy,
Seriously drowsy.
Quite what the quantitative differences are between these qualitative statements is unclear, since they are embedded in the proprietary technology.
The Japanese developed device takes the form of an in-car system which monitors and detects driver drowsiness as it comes on and then reacts. The detection is based on a combination of cameras and sensors, which are continually monitoring the driver. The types of vital signs assessed include the rate of blinking, facial expressions, heat loss from the body, and the degree of illuminance of the skin. Additional data is recorded about the quality of the driving; there are also environmental sensors that are located within the vehicle. The data is then processed via artificial intelligence and a machine assesses how drowsy the driver is. Panasonic claim that the system can assess the onset of drowsiness before the driver is aware of it.
The traffic in Iwo road at this time of the year is heavy. A continuous stream of traffic on an aver...
The traffic in Iwo road at this time of the year is heavy. A continuous stream of traffic on an average day
The video below explains more about the technology:
The in-built vehicle sensors can make adjustments to the environment, to help to keep the driver awake. This could be, for example, dropping the temperature inside the vehicle.
Panasonic aims to have the system available to vehicle manufacturers for testing the autumn, with potential adoption by car and truck manufacturers in 2018.
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