Monitoring the Driver is a Thing Now?
The driver monitoring system (DMS) is an advanced safety feature that tracks the driver behaviour with a camera. Sometimes called a driver state sensing (DSS) system, it issues a warning to get the driver’s attention back to driving.
There is a heightened risk of a collision, injury or even fatality when a driver engages in one or more distracted driving behaviours. Distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing threats and causes of collisions. A large percentage of serious traffic collisions and commercial fleet collisions involve distracted drivers. The statistics are proof of how drivers are using the roadways safely. It is also proof of why keeping commercial fleet drivers and bystanders safe. These issues had become bigger and more costly for safety leaders to address. It aims to help commercial fleet managers and drivers in fatigue and distraction management.
The European Union has mandated the inclusion of DMS in all new vehicle models starting 2024. It is expected that the driver monitoring system (DMS) will become a standard feature as a result of regulatory and rating agency requirements.
How It’s Going to Work?
The DMS will use a driver-facing camera with infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or lasers to see the driver’s face, even at night. It should also detect the driver’s eyes even if they are wearing sunglasses. Data points from the driver are collected through advanced onboard software. It creates an initial baseline of how the driver’s normal, attentive state looks.
The onboard software determines whether the driver is blinking more than usual. It also detects whether the eyes are narrowing or the head is tilting at an odd angle. The DMS can determine whether the driver is looking at the road and is actually paying attention or just absent-mindedly staring.
The system then issues audio alerts, lights up a visual indicator on the dashboard or vibrates the seat. It can also automatically apply the brakes when it determines that the driver is distracted through the internal sensors and if the external sensors also detect an oncoming collision.
DMS Aims to Do These
There are a few things that the DMS aims to do. It targets to continuously watch, notify and alert drivers to focus on the road. Some DMS can also help maintain safe distances and travel at safe speeds. However, a driver monitoring system is designed to:
- Alert drivers before a collision can happen.
- Help drivers–especially new drivers–improve their driving skills. Statistically, new drivers are several times more likely to be involved in collisions.
- Confirm if drivers follow processes and procedures outlined in driver safety programs.
- Reduce operational cause, lowers spending on insurance, achieve safety metrics, absolve drivers from collisions and save lives.
DMS, Autonomous Driving and Interior Sensing
Nowadays, most automatic transmission vehicles can execute some level of autonomous driving protocols. Levels 3 and 4 are conditional automation in which drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel. However, drivers need to keep their attention on the road if they need to take control. It will be the crucial role driver monitoring systems are playing.
A driver monitoring system detecting drowsiness and inattention is just the beginning. It will probably become part of a broader interior sensing platform that can provide personalisation, advanced safety, and infotainment. The ability to personalise automatically adjusts the seat, temperature, side mirror, etc. to the driver’s preference. It can also identify whether the driver is impaired or having a medical emergency.
Passengers can also benefit from the increased functionality of the DMS. The DMS can monitor both the driver and the cabin, for example. It will let the DMS detect whether a child was left behind in a car seat and if a valuable item is forgotten. It will also help personalise infotainment, HVAC and other in-cabin functionality. However, these are all still in development.
There Are Challenges for DMS
One of the biggest challenges in the implementation of a driver alert system is providing the information at the right time. It should also not be intruding on the drivers’ privacy. Here is a brief description of how these challenges affect the usage of driver monitoring systems.
1. Real-time Alerts
Before any distraction determination, most video telematics and dashcam solutions require the videos to be uploaded to cloud storage for analysis. The latency resulting from data transmission because of the many back-and-forths prevents real-time alerting. It stops drivers from getting a chance to act in time and prevent the incident from happening.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) enables the delivery of real-time feedback. A blind spot detection sensor is also added to the system for maximum road safety. It gives drivers a chance to avoid collisions and accidents instead of just triggering and reporting that an event has occurred.
2. Driver Privacy
There is a fear for many drivers that their in-vehicle videos are used against them. The implementation of a driver alert system requires a “Driver First” approach. Some drivers go out of their way to block the system since it can feel like they are under surveillance since the system can also come with vehicle GPS tracking. Find a system that allows real-time AI assistance without uploading onto cloud software to detect driver behaviour and imminent collisions.
You Should Get A DMS Now!
Driver monitoring systems essentially safeguard the well-being of everyone and the safety of other road users. It prevents accidents by monitoring driver behaviour and intervening through intelligent algorithms. The usage of DMS can minimise downtime for both drivers and vehicles while ensuring maximum productivity. These solutions are built on technology that is unobstructed, accurate, reliable and intelligently aware. You can check out Guardian South East Asia for their technology solution. Their systems also feature a blind spot monitoring system that ensures maximum road safety.