Traffic Technology Today.com
Subscribe to Traffic Technology
Subscribe to Traffic Technology
   Sort by: relevance most recent
  

NEWS >>

The prototype in-car safety system that anticipates a driver's mistakes

Researchers at Cornell and Stanford universities have developed a system that 'watches' drivers to determine when they are about to do something wrong, so that it can warn them not to.

The Brain4Cars system analyzes drivers' head movements, and monitors the road ahead, to determine what they are planning to do. Although some cars already are equipped with safety systems that monitor the vehicle’s movement and warn if there is an unsafe turn or lane change, that warning comes too late; after the driver has acted. By observing the driver’s body language and considering that in the context of what is happening outside the car, a new algorithm in the Brain4Cars system determines the probability that the driver will turn, change lanes or continue straight ahead.

To develop the system, the researchers recorded video of 10 drivers, along with video of the road ahead, for 1,180 miles (1,900km) of freeway and city driving over a period of two months. A computer using face detection and tracking software identified head movements and learned to associate them with turns and lane changes; so that the final system can anticipate possible actions the driver may take. The computer continuously reports its anticipations to the car’s central safety system.

In a test against another data set of videos with different drivers, the system correctly predicted the driver’s actions 77.4% of the time, anticipating an average 3.53 seconds in advance. The extra seconds have the potential to save lives, according to the development team.

The researchers noted that the system still needs refinement, as they found that the face tracking was confused by shadows of passing trees and other lighting variations 6% of the time. The system also can be misled by drivers interacting with passengers. In some situations, such as turning from a turn-only lane, drivers do not always give the same head cues. Sometimes they rely on short-term memory of traffic conditions and do not turn their heads to check. It may come down to tracking eye movements, the researchers said.

The team says this is only a first step, and incorporating it in a complete safety system is a job for automakers. Future improvements may include infrared cameras to observe at night and 3-D cameras for greater accuracy. Other inputs may be added, such as tactile sensors to monitor pressure on the steering wheel, and cameras or pressure sensors to observe what the driver’s feet are doing, perhaps to anticipate braking. Combining driver anticipation with radar or cameras to locate other vehicles, the car’s safety system could warn the driver when the anticipated action could be dangerous.

Drawing on street maps and GPS information, the system also might give an ‘illegal turn’ message if the driver was planning to turn the wrong way on a one-way street.

“There are many systems now that monitor what’s going on outside the car,” explained Ashutosh Saxena, assistant professor of computer science at Cornell University. “Internal monitoring of the driver will be the next leap forward.”

For a video of the system in action click here

April 16, 2015

Email


RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Monthly Poll >>

Will the public ever accept road user charging?

MAGAZINE >>

Read latest issueNEW DIGITAL EDITION:

The Oct/Nov 2017 issue of Traffic Technology International is now online.

Click here to read digital version
Click here to subscribe

Read now >>

VISION ZERO >>

Read latest issueNEW DIGITAL EDITION:

The June 2017 issue of Vision Zero International is now online.

Click here to read digital version
Click here to subscribe

Read now >>

INTERTRAFFIC WORLD >>

Read latest issueNEW DIGITAL EDITION:

Intertraffic World 2018 showcase is now online.


Click here to read digital version
Click here to subscribe

Read now >>


TOLLTRANS >>

Read latest issueNEW DIGITAL EDITION:

Tolltrans 2017 is now online.



Click here to read digital version
Click here to subscribe

Read now >>