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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

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September 2001


Video DisplaySeen On The Road

     Keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road is not always a conscious decision. Distractions abound, both inside and outside your vehicle, accounting for an estimated 25-56% of all collisions-and are the primary cause of accidents. Scientists at Volvo Technological Development Corporation and Linköping University in Sweden, in collaboration with the Australian National University and SeeingMachines Pty, have developed a first line defense against wavering driver behavior: a system of in-car sensors that can pinpoint the moment when drivers take their eyes off the road-and, more importantly, why.
    Integrated with the computerized electronic system of current vehicles, the system provides real-time feedback to the driver on critical safety issues like distraction or drowsiness. Researchers get feedback too, from the multiplex bus network present on most modern vehicles, regarding which distraction is taking place and its effect upon the driver's ability to control the vehicle.
     nbsp"It is not enough to know whether a driver is looking at the road or some other object," said Trent Victor a project manager at Volvo Technological Development. "We have to know that what is being looked at has registered in the conscious mind, that the driver has understood what is happening ahead, that it is a cognitive vision. The work that we are doing here enables us to better understand what the driver chooses to look at and the context in which he does so."

For those not distracted by cameras on the dash and a computer monitor in the passenger seat... For those not distracted by cameras on the dash and a computer monitor in the passenger seat...

     With advanced sensors and highly specialized computer software, Volvo and its Australian partners have developed an attention-measurement system that produces a video image of the driver's face, superimposed with a beam of light apparently emanating from each eye. As the eye moves, the direction in which it is looking is shown by the direction of the beam. This tracks exactly what the driver is looking at-central rear view mirror, fuel gauge etc.-then calculates and displays that information on the video screen. Other sensors detect the vehicle's actions, speed, pedal angles, steering wheel angle and control use, and help to determine the driver's behavior at any given moment.

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