Researchers at Australian National University linked up with Volvo to help develop a vehicle-safety system that keeps an eye on the driver. And the eye-opening technology is not only saving lives. It has also scored the innovators the fifth slot in Anthill’s SMART 100.
5. DSS vehicle safety system
DSS uses a video camera and image-analysis software to track a driver’s eyes and head movements. If DSS determines the driver’s eyes aren’t spending enough time on the road, an appropriately attention-getting sound goes off, and the driver, presumably, focuses more on the task at hand.
Speaking of hands, the device doesn’t touch the driver. There are no wires or sensors. It’s all done with cameras and software. Similar devices — or at least those that aim for similar outcomes — require the driver to wear wired-up glasses, or monitor the vehicle’s steering instead of the driver.
Currently, DSS is targeted largely at industrial vehicles — heavy loaders, long-haul trucker and the like. And understandably so. Fatigue is an ongoing challenge among truckers worldwide.
Logbooks and strictly enforced driving hours have tried to address the issue. The folks behind DSS hope they have a high-tech solution.
With heavy-vehicle fleets, the DSS monitoring can also be picked up by dispatchers, providing a backup for warning the driver if he or she is nodding off or spending too much time fiddling with the satellite radio.
DSS’ technology can also be used in other commercial vehicles and military transports, trains, and passenger vehicles. Research is currently trying to overcome obstacles and challenges associated with sunglasses and night driving.
DSS vehicle safety system’s SMART 100 Application
The SMART 100 Winners List 2010