An in-car system for detecting driver fatigue has the potential to reduce traffic accidents caused by tired drivers, according to Aurobinda Mishra of Vanderbilt University, Mihir Mohanty of ITER in India, and Aurobinda Routray of IIT in India.
The researchers have developed software that directs an in-car camera to capture a sequence of images of a driver's face, and then analyzes changes in the face to determine when yawning is occurring. Next, the image-processing software correlates the frequency of yawning with fatigue behavior, such as eyelids getting heavy, neck muscles relaxing, and head nodding. The software and camera could be connected to a warning system to create an in-car system for alerting drivers to pull over and take a nap.
In tests, the algorithm has been effective in identifying yawning. The team believes that analyzing facial expressions would be more cost-effective and convenient for drivers than having them use an electrocardiogram machine for every trip.
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