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New tech to alert drivers who fall asleep at wheel

Majority of accidents at night occur when the drivers fall asleep at the wheel.

Published: 10th August 2021 06:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2021 06:47 AM   |  A+A-

Minister Antony Raju inspecting the vehicle which was used for test run.

Express News Service

KOCHI: Majority of accidents at night occur when the drivers fall asleep at the wheel. These drivers not only put their lives at risk, but also pose a danger to other vehicles. But soon, accidents during the night can be brought down using new technology. Thanks to the six motor vehicle inspectors, who are undergoing a part-time BTech course at Cusat they developed a technology with the aim of reducing the accident rate caused by the drivers dozing off. 

The MVIs  Arun C C, Noufal A, Deepu N K, Vijesh P V and  AMIs Vineeth V V and Ranjith S comprise the six-member team which developed the system.The system, which was developed with the help of an Infrared camera, not only sends drowsiness alerts to passengers, but also slowly puts the vehicle into offline mode when it detects the driver is falling asleep. 

Though some new generation vehicles are fitted with drowsiness detection systems, they can only provide an audio or visual alert.

“We have developed a mechatronic system, which uses a microcontroller for real-time monitoring of the driver’s eyelids and lip movement from the input of a night vision camera to detect early signs of drowsiness. If the driver shows signs of drowsiness, the system will provide an alert in the vehicle. If the eye closure time exceeds the preset value, the system will activate the exhaust brake system and will gradually reduce the speed of the vehicle. Since it is dangerous to stop a vehicle midway, the system can also send alerts to other road users by giving emergency warning displays, hazard warning signals, and stop signals, “ said Noufal, Motor Vehicle inspector.

The system  can also automatically deactivate itself if the driver were to regain wakefulness. “The system will be deactivated if the driver were to honk or step on the brake  pedal,” he added.The system, which was developed as a part of their final year project, has already been tested in a Maruti 800 vehicle and was proved to be successful in the first attempt. 

The project titled was developed in the wake of the recent accidents in which the driver fell asleep at the wheel. Meanwhile, Transport Minister Antony Raju announced  good service entry for the officers for developing the system. “We are also planning to apply for a patent for the product. The procedure for publishing the project in an international journal is also going  on in full swing,” said Arun, the brain behind the project.



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