People die all around the world each year due to distracted driving. Distracted driving takes many forms from smartphone use to eating, to paying more attention to people in the car than the road. Bosch is talking up a new camera that it has developed that is intended to keep an eye on passengers inside the car. The camera uses AI to understand what the driver is doing to help improve safety.
Bosch says that at 50 kph, a vehicle travels 42 meters completely unsupervised if the driver dozes off or looks at their smartphone for three seconds. Bosch says that studies have shown nearly 1 in 10 accidents are caused by distraction or drowsiness. A camera integrated into the steering wheel can detect when the eyelids of the driver are getting heavy or if the driver is distracted.
The camera could also tell when the driver turns their head towards the passenger or rear seats. The system uses AI to draw the correct conclusion from the information that the camera sees. It will warn inattentive drivers, recommend a break if the driver is sleepy, and reduce the speed of the vehicle depending on legal requirements and the automaker’s wishes.
To identify driver drowsiness, the system is trained using recordings of real driving situations using eyelid position and eye-blink rates to learn how tired the driver is. Warning systems sound in the case of distraction and drowsiness. This sort of system will be part of the Euro NCAP assessment for vehicle safety by 2025.
The system that Bosch has developed does all the information processing within the car. No information is saved or passed to third parties. For future autonomous vehicles, the system can be used to ensure a driver doesn’t fall asleep in case they need to take over control again. The cameras can also recognize if a child is left in a car and alert parents.