Pupil tracking technology combats driver impairment

| Transport

Pupil based driver monitoring system

HARMAN is demonstrating new in-vehicle safety technology for detecting driver cognitive load using camera-based eye and pupil tracking algorithms.

Vehicle infotainment and safety specialist, HARMAN is demonstrating an innovative pupil-based driver monitoring system at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 taking place during this week in Las Vegas.

The system aims to make sleep impairment and driver distraction a thing of the past and uses measurements of the dilation of the pupils of the eyes to determine the driver’s conscious position and mental workload. Once the level of multi-tasking being performed by the driver and the associated cognitive load has been determined by the driver monitoring system, it signals other safety systems within the vehicle so that they can adapt as appropriate.

With driver-facing cameras already a feature in many vehicles for detecting occupants or alerting sleep impaired drivers, the addition of eye and pupil tracking technology takes this in-vehicle safety feature a step further. By relying on the camera, the system obviates the need for seat or steering wheel sensors or complex biometric based devices.

The camera continually captures the driver’s pupil dilation and a proprietary software algorithm analyses the pupil reflex using advanced filtering and signal processing. The filter isolates and identifies responses triggered by high cognitive load. The calculated outputs are used to intuitively adjust user interfaces, like placing mobile devices in do-not-disturb mode or adjusting ADAS system intervention thresholds to minimise physical and mental distraction to the driver.

Commenting on the use of eye and pupil tracking technology as a means of getting closer to more intelligent driving systems, HARMAN’s vice president of technology strategy, Alon Atsmon stated, “Safety on the road is more important than ever as more vehicles become connected. HARMAN is advancing the state of the art for products that balance the desire of drivers to stay connected in the car without compromising their safety and security.”

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