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A recent report has shown that younger drivers are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel, as one in seven drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have fallen asleep at least once while driving during the past year.
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.
Ford’s Lane Keeping technology is much more effective than a cup of super strong coffee – this technology will let you know when you’re too tired to drive.
Set to launch in early 2012 on the Ford Explorer, the Lane Keeping technology is perfect for drivers that are in for the long haul or have to pull a late-night road trip. This system will keep drivers in control by alerting them when it detects signs of drowsiness.
Using a camera mounted near the rear view mirror, the system is able to keep track of how you’re driving. When it senses your attention is wandering, the alarms start to go off. Depending on how alert you are, you may get a warning chime or a coffee up that lights up on the dashboard.
And if all that fails, the system takes it up a notch to get you focused on the road. If you start to drift across the lanes, the steering wheel will vibrate in order to snap you out of your sleepiness.
“Our engineering teams tested this technology for thousands of miles in many parts of the country to help ensure it performs on a wide range of roads with different lane markings,” said Michael Kane, vehicle engineering supervisor for Driver Assistance Technologies for Ford.
After the jump, watch the video to see the Lane Keeping System in action.