When your car knows how you feel

For the project “Camera-based Driver State Monitoring”, FZI researchers are developing a prototype for camera-based measurement of vital parameters during a car ride.

A camera inside the vehicle measures factors such as heart and blink rate, head pose and emotions of the driver and continuously evaluates the information. “In this way, we gain a comprehensive and constantly updated picture of the driver state. Thus, we are able to improve the interaction between the driver and the vehicle,” explains Timon Blöcher, researcher at the FZI.

The Karlsruhe researchers use an off-the-shelf webcam for the project without attaching sensors to the driver and without using special lighting. The system is able to autonomously recognise facial areas and to derive the driver’s stress and fatigue level with the help of innovative image and signal processing algorithms. The measurements also give some indication of the driver’s attentiveness or excitement level. The collected information allows a conclusion to be drawn about the individual driving behaviour. In combination with modern driver assistance systems, such as a distraction warning system or a medical emergency brake assistant, the camera-based measurement can make driving more predictable and thus safer.

www.fzi.de

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