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 |  Dec 08 2011, 1:00 PM

There are a few systems out there that alert you to the fact that you may be too tired to drive and should pull over for a nap or a strong cup of coffee. Denso is going one-step further with a drowsiness level checker that tracks muscle movements over a driver’s face.

The point of this technology is that it will alert the driver that they’re too tired before they fall asleep while on the road. Here’s how it works: there’s a camera that’s installed on the steering column, which is pointed at the driver’s face. This camera feeds the system’s custom software live footage, so it’s constantly updated with the latest information about what your facial features are saying. The system picks up on 17 distinct points on the driver’s face, which are monitored while the vehicle is moving. This lets the system track the movement and level of activity of the driver’s facial muscles.

As soon as the driver starts to get drowsy (ie: constant blinking), the system picks up on this sign. By focusing on muscle movements like this, as well as others, the system gives the driver a fatigue level on a scale of one to six, to alert them to the fact that they should pull over so they don’t fall asleep while behind the wheel.

[Source: Gizmodo]