Automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis has unveiled technology designed to detect when a driver is dozing off and leaving the road, so vehicle control can be transitioned to autonomous driving mode and the car can be pulled over safely and stopped.
The company showcased its latest DDREM (Departed Driver Rescue and Exit Maneuver) technology at the Consumer Electronics Show last week.
By focusing only on the safety benefits of autonomous driving, DDREM technology will bring such advantages to market more quickly and prevent one of the five major causes of vehicle fatalities — drowsy driving, according to Hyundai Mobis.
The software-based technology, which may become available to the driving public by 2022, adds just one infrared camera to vehicle hardware for any OEM. The infrared camera scans driver facial and eye movements to determine whether the driver keeps eyes forward, changes blinking patterns or exhibits other signs of drowsiness.
DDREM also looks for key identifiers used in advanced driver assistance systems, checking to see whether the vehicle is moving in and out of a lane, crossing lanes, zigzagging or making erratic movement. These are all common signs of drowsy driving.
“If DDREM determines that the driver has fallen asleep, it transitions vehicle control to level 4 autonomous driving mode,” the company explained in a press release. “The software uses vehicle hardware already found on most new cars — including electronic brakes, electric power steering, radars, and camera systems — as well as basic mapping and GPS to identify a safe place for the vehicle to pull over and stop.”
In most rescue scenarios, DDREM will need to function in full autonomy mode for less than one mile, according to Hyundai Mobis.