Center for Transportation Studies University of Minnesota
This project is the extension of the Northland Advanced Transportation System Research Laboratory
(NATSRL) FY 2008 project titled “Real-time Nonintrusive Detection of Driver Drowsiness,” which aims to
develop a real-time, nonintrusive driver drowsiness detection system to reduce drowsiness-caused accidents.
Biosensor is built on the vehicle steering wheel to measure driver’s heartbeat signals. Heart rate variability (HRV),
a physiological signal that has established links to waking/sleepiness stages, thus can be analyzed from the pulse
signals for the detection of driver drowsiness. The novel design of measuring heartbeat signals from biosensors on
the steering wheel and seatback makes this drowsiness detection system one with almost no annoyance to the
driver, and the use of this physiological signal can ensure the accuracy of drowsiness detection. In Phase I, a
biosensor with a pair of electrodes built on steering wheel was tested for the measurement of heartbeat for HRV
analysis. However, this design requires the driver put both hands on the steering wheel to measure the heart rate. In
Phase II, a new biosensor is designed that can measure heart rate even when only one hand is on the steering wheel,
which happens very often in real driving situations. More extensive lab tests were carried out to study the change
of HRV signals with driver drowsiness.
Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute
Center for Transportation Studies
Real-Time Nonintrusive Detection of Driver Drowsiness – Phase II.
Center for Transportation Studies University of Minnesota.
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