Guardian develops sensor with new distracted-driving features
Guardian Optical Technologies announced it has added new safety features to its sensor, including measuring a driver’s eyelids to determine microsleep, grip on steering wheel, and engagement with the entertainment system.
Guardian Optical Technologies’ sensor measures how open a driver’s eyelids are (and for how long) to determine the danger of microsleep, periods of sleep that can occur for seconds without the person cognizant of it, which most commonly take place during monotonous tasks like driving. An indication of microsleep is if a driver’s eyelids are closed for 0.4 seconds or more. Additionally, the sensor can detect the quality of the driver’s grip on the steering wheel to determine if it is firm, light, or if there is so grip at all. Guardian Optical Technologies’ high-resolution sensor are designed to locate the location and posture of specific fingers so that drivers can be compliant with NHTSA’s recommendation for hand location on both sides of the wheel and a “firm yet gentle” grip. Guardian’s technology can also make the car aware of whether the driver is indeed holding the wheel as required by “lane keep assist” features that demand the a driver hold the wheel for not fully self-driving vehicles.
The sensor can also now indicate who is engaged with the entertainment system in the vehicle to detect if the driver is being distracted by it. It is also designed to sense who is engaging with the entertainment system so that more advanced features can be implemented. For instance, some advanced features would include adapting the seat and heat for the person in the car and to disable or enable relevant icons for the specific individual like disabling texting for the driver or enabling navigation for the passenger.
“Technology is revolutionizing the way we use our vehicles and the way our vehicles interact with us,” said Gil Dotan, Founder and CMO of Guardian Optical Technologies. “We are continuously adding more features to our sensor to create the most comprehensive safety and convenience solution for automakers and passengers experiencing it. We are aiming to provide the most cutting-edge experience that can anticipate the needs of drivers and passengers for both their comfort and safety.”
Guardian combines video image recognition (2D), depth mapping (3D), and optical micro- to macro-motion analysis to constantly scan and track occupants and objects anywhere in the vehicle, using low-cost, automotive-grade components. The sensor identifies the location and physical dimensions of everyone in the car, distinguishing people from objects. By detecting micro vibrations, the system can register, in some cases, a presence even without a direct line of sight.