March 23, 2017

Evaluating driver drowsiness countermeasures

J G Gaspar et al, 2017. Evaluating driver drowsiness countermeasures, Traffic Injury Prevention, published online.


Objective: Driver drowsiness contributes to a substantial number of fatal and non-fatal crashes, with recent estimates attributing up to 21% of fatal crashes to drowsiness. This paper describes recent NHTSA research on in-vehicle drowsiness countermeasures. Recent advances in technology and state detection algorithms have shown success in detecting drowsiness using a variety of data sources, including camera-based eye tracking, steering wheel position, yaw rate, and vehicle lane position. However, detection is just the first step in reducing drowsy driving crashes. Countermeasures are also needed to provide feedback to the driver, modify driver behavior, and prevent crashes. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of in-vehicle drowsiness countermeasures in reducing drowsy lane departures. The tested countermeasures included different warning modalities in either a discrete or staged interface. Methods:  Data were collected from 72 young adult drivers (age 21-32) in the high-fidelity full-motion National Advanced Driving Simulator. Drivers completed a 45-minute simulated night-time drive at two time points, late night and early morning, where drowsiness was manipulated by continuous hours awake. 48 drivers were exposed to one of six countermeasures that varied along two dimensions, type and modality. The countermeasures relied on a steering-based drowsiness detection algorithm developed in prior NHTSA research. 24 drivers received no countermeasure and were used as a baseline comparison. System effectiveness was measured by lane departures and standard deviation in lateral position (SDLP). Results:  There was a reduction in drowsy lane departure frequency and lane position variability for drivers with countermeasures compared to the baseline no-countermeasure group. Importantly, the data suggest that multi-stage alerts, which provide an indication of increasing urgency, were more effective in reducing drowsy lane departures than single-stage discrete alerts, particularly during early morning drives when drivers were drowsier. Conclusions:  The results indicate that simple in-vehicle countermeasures, such as an auditory-visual coffee cup icon, can reduce the frequency of drowsy lane departures in the context of relatively short drives. An important next step is to evaluate the impact of drowsiness countermeasures in the context of longer, multiple-hour drives. In these cases, it may not be possible to keep drivers awake via feedback warnings and it is important to understand whether countermeasures prompt drivers to stop to rest. The next phase of this research project will examine role of drowsiness countermeasures over longer drives using a protocol that replicates the motivational conditions of drowsy driving.

Modtag nyhedsbrev

Ja tak, jeg vil gerne modtage nyhedsbrev, når der er noget nyt om kaffe og helbred.