AI Technology for Sleepy Drivers, Anyone?
For the past few decades, the amount of driver assistive technologies has increased tenfold. Back in the 70s, seatbelts and airbags weren’t even mandatory.
Fast forward to 2020 and SEAT, a Spain based automobile manufacturer, is now researching and developing artificial intelligence technology to combat driver fatigue and improve road safety.
SEAT’s Xplora team, in collaboration with Eyesight Technologies, is currently developing an advanced technology that studies a driver’s eyes and head movement to detect if they’re falling asleep or distracted.
It uses an algorithm which analyses how much of the eye is closed/opened, the angle of vision, blink rate, and head position of the driver, along with other visual attributes.
As soon as the system detects that the driver is drowsy, asleep, or distracted, it will trigger an alert. The technology can also identify the driver from previous trips and adjust the seats, mirrors, heating settings and other cabin features according to their personal preferences.
As SEAT further develops the program, the software will eventually be able to detect pedestrians and analyze whether the driver has spotted them as well.
“In total, more than 90 per cent of the road accidents in Europe are caused by human factor. The main reasons include distraction and tiredness, excessive speed and alcohol and drugs,” Stefan Ilijevic, the head of Product innovation at SEAT said.
“At SEAT we are working on solutions to prevent negligence behind the steering wheel and significantly reduce road accidents. We partner with some of the world's brightest companies on important technology to save lives, since our long-term vision is a world with zero accidents.”
SEAT’s Xplora team searches for innovative companies which develop connected car technology and smart mobility services. Eyesight Technologies, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, uses advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence to improve road safety. Gauzy was started in the kitchen of one of its founders, who was looking for a way to make windows more private.
SEAT launched Xplora with Champion Motors, which is the Volkswagen Group’s brand importer in Israel, and in two years has worked with more than 200 emerging Israeli businesses.
Their team is responsible for finding solutions that enhance well-being and safety, cybersecurity, sustainability and artificial intelligence. The aim is to carry out at least 10 proofs of concept every year to test how selected innovations would adapt in vehicles and services.
Aitor Aizkorreta, the head of scouting for SEAT in Israel, said:“This concentration of emerging companies makes Tel Aviv one of the easiest global innovation hubs to explore for solutions that improve our cars and services.”