BENGALURU: Travelling long distances in a car could now be less worrisome. If your primary concern is that the driver could fall asleep though the journey putting lives at risk, city’s engineering students have designed a solution for it. The ‘Driver drowsiness detection’ system devised by a group of engineering students can now prompt the driver to stay awake through the journey by sending vibrations and beeps.
A group of four students, who run a start-up VISIO AI at the PES University, designed this in less than a month’s time.
The project was pursued under the Centre for Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning headed by Special Officer, A Vinay and funded by government of Karnataka. The prototype for the same is ready and patent has been availed.
Device to read human faces and activities
Fitted with a camera in the car, the device is tuned to read human faces and the activities such as blinking of the eye and yawning.Saahil Kamath, a final-year engineering student, explains that the person’s eye movement is recognised besides the number of times he yawns before sending the alerts.
“The cut-off time for a person to blink his eye is 1.5 seconds. If a driver has his eyes shut for more than that, alerts would be sent. The same happens even if he yawns more than three times,” says Kamath.
The camera reads the person’s face following which data is encrypted and sent to a server. In response, if the driver is drowsy, the device sends vibrations to the steering wheel or beeps to keep the driver awake.
Kamath said that the drowsiness alert systems that are available in the market only make assessments based on the way the car drifts but need not necessarily provide accurate data. “They are also expensive. In high end cars, it costs Rs 40,000. The ones that we have designed should cost just around Rs 10,000,” he says.
Aviral Joshi, a third-year student adds, “We saw that a majority of accidents in India take place as drivers fall asleep. Our target was to use minimum resources and make the devices affordable for all.”
Kamath and his co-founders Joshi, Akshay Kumar C, Rahul B Prakash are also planning to approach cab aggregators, asking them to install such devices in their vehicles.
System may double up as attendance tracker
The ‘Driver drowsiness detection’ device has an added advantage. With an ability to recognise faces, this system could also be used in school buses to track the attendance of students. Real time data on those boarding and de-boarding could reach the users.