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Panasonic develops drowsiness-control technology

DUBAI, August 6, 2017

Panasonic Corporation has developed a drowsiness-control technology for detecting and predicting a person's level of drowsiness and allowing to stay comfortably awake.

This technology, which can help prevent drowsy driving, detects a driver's shallow drowsiness at the initial state by accurately measuring the driver's states without physical contact, including blinking features and facial expressions, etc. captured by an in-vehicle camera, and processing these signals using artificial intelligence, said a statement from the company.

Further, using measurement data from the in-vehicle environment, such as heat loss from the driver and illuminance, Panasonic’s new technology also predicts transitions in the driver's drowsiness level, it said.

The technology also combines thermal sensation monitoring function, allowing the driver to stay comfortably awake while driving, it added.

Assessed as Level 2 (slightly drowsy) based on the equally spaced five-levels of drowsiness. This technology has made it possible to develop a driver-monitoring system that detects the driver's current level of drowsiness and predicts transitions in the driver's drowsiness based on the in-vehicle environment, as well as a drowsiness-control system that allows the driver to stay comfortably awake. These systems prevent the driver from falling asleep while driving, said a statement.

This new technology offers the following features:
1. Detects shallow drowsiness the driver is even unaware of by non-contact measurement of blinking features and facial expressions, etc.
2. Collects in-vehicle environment data to predict transitions in the driver's drowsiness level.
3. Senses and monitors the driver's level of thermal sensation, allowing the person to stay comfortably awake.

Conventional drowsiness-detection systems had difficulty in predicting transitions in drowsiness. Conventional anti-hypnotic stimulant systems use alarm sounds and vibrations to wake up users, which can make them feel uncomfortable.

Panasonic's newly developed technology, with 22 patents on file, is suitable for applications in human- and environment-monitoring systems for use in such places as private and commercial vehicles, offices and educational institutions; drowsiness-prediction systems; and drowsiness-control systems for keeping people awake.

Key Technological Features:
1. Detects shallow drowsiness the driver is even unaware of by non-contact measurement of blinking features and facial expressions, etc. A person who feels drowsy shows various signs. For example, people will "have a drowsy facial expression," or "blink in a specific way," when becoming drowsy. Identifying these signs allows to detect the level of drowsiness.

Utilising image recognition technologies refined through the development of monitoring cameras and other systems, Panasonic has recently developed non-contact and highly accurate technology for detecting people's blinking features and facial expressions, etc. from photographed images.

2. Collects in-vehicle environment data to predict transitions in the driver's drowsiness level. Generally, people rarely become drowsy in a cool and bright environment, but can easily become drowsy in a warm and dim environment. Therefore, it is assumed that drowsiness depends on in-vehicle environmental factors, such as temperature and brightness. However, some people wear a lot of clothes while others wear less at the same temperature. Such variations in human behaviour make it difficult to estimate people's drowsiness based only on the ambient temperature.

3. Senses and monitors the driver's level of thermal sensation, allowing the person to stay comfortably awake. Adjusting room temperature or airflow based on an individual's estimated level of drowsiness makes it easier to keep a person awake.

However, a person would feel a cold when the room temperature is too low, which the level of thermal comfort would be disturbed. By applying our knowledge of thermal environments and physiology accumulated through research and development of indoor air conditioners and other products, Panasonic has developed, through joint research with Nara Women's University, a technology to estimate the thermal sensation.

This technology can be used inside a vehicle, where the effects of airflow and others are significant. By applying the infrared array sensor Grid-Eye, an individual's level of thermal sensation can be constantly monitored as an optimum means of controlling temperature, for example, an air conditioner. This allows a person to stay comfortably awake, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: | Panasonic | technology |

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