A graduate student from the TPU Institute of Cybernetics Alexey Tsavnin is elaborating a computer vision-based portable device. The device can reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel and may be installed in any car, regardless of the model.
Photo: Alexey Tsavin is presenting his project at the IT-Breakthrough contest.
“The Pulitzer Center Roads Kill reports the global road death rate at 1.25m people. About 20% of accidents are caused by sleeping drivers. My project is focused on the design of portable universal device that will prevent and alert a driver on falling asleep at the wheel”,
says Alexey Tsavnin.
Computer vision will control visual monitoring within the system. Alexey says that such devices are mostly under development or high performance of similar projects has not been demonstrated yet.
The portable device may be used in any car regardless of the brand and manufacture year. The only requirement is to have a permanent 5V power supply. A standard USB connector is applicable. The hardware will have three main components: a microcomputer, a camera for capturing faces and a small display. The camera will be positioned so that the driver’s face gets into the viewfinder.
Photo: The device prototype
“One of the most obvious signs of falling asleep is closing of the eyes. Within the project a lot of information sources related to electronics, coding and medicine were collected. Similar studies described in authoritative publications give accurate figures on a normal blinking time and the decrease in frequency of blinking before falling asleep. Thus, a decrease of blinking frequency or its complete absence will trigger an audible alarm,” clarifies Alexey.
Currently, the project has reached its intermediate stage. Software to detect a face and eyes is already developed and operates through a portable plate. The device successfully passed all laboratory tests.
“More recently, there were no DVRs and navigators in our cars at all. Now they are installed in almost every car and drivers often use them in conflict situations. It would be great if Alexey’s project will be used by drivers”, states project research supervisor Sergei Zamyatin.