DMS (Driver Monitoring Systems) give wake up calls to drivers and automakers

asleepatwheel Wake up drivers! Drowsy/sleepy driving is dangerous. Because the loss of driver attention due to fatigue or drowsiness causes accidents, there is a need for driver monitoring systems (DMSs).

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers – about 168 million people – say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third, (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep at the wheel!

Nearly one-quarter of adults (23%) say they know someone personally who has crashed due to falling asleep at the wheel. Drowsiness was involved in one in five fatal crashes.

November 1-8 was National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week presented by NHTSA.

NHSTA often makes the public aware of unsafe driving situations and then later supports technology that prevents such dangerous actions.

Driver monitoring systems can analyse driver behavior or detect patterns tending towards micro-sleep to issue appropriate warnings and help revive the driver’s focus. Several automakers have adopted behavior-based DMS that employ frontal cameras, steering angle sensors and sensors on the steering wheel reports Frost and Sullivan.

DMS technology is not only important for driver safety but will become important for autonomous driving for systems to sense if the driver can take back control of the vehicle. It is also a selling point to help drivers feel safer.

The current generation of behavior-based sensors used in passenger vehicles is capable of managin only two to three functions at most. Many vehicle automakers are moving from behavior-based DMSs towards advanced inward-looking camera-based systems.

OEMs are exploring vision-based sensors such as infrared mono or stereo cameras facing the drivers sys Frost & Sullivan Intelligent Mobility Senior Research Analyst Anirudh Venkitaraman. Automakers are planning the introduction of functions such as gesture recognition, mood detection, eye monitoring, driver identification and health monitoring.

Deciding on the number of functions to provide within DMS and sharing the hardware cost across safety and HMI functions will prove vital for automakers. It will also be worthwhile to offer a value justification for customers to invest in DMS-equipped vehicles with feature additions and partner with capable suppliers to develop cost-competitive solutions.

Vehicle OEMs’ approach to adoption has not been aggressive enough,” noted Venkitaraman. “While certain OEMs offer DMS as a standard fitment in their vehicle line-up, many others look to extend this technology only as an option.”

Over time, vehicle OEMs will realize that adding more driver interactive features within DMS will enable them to pitch the technology not only as a safety features but also as a personal assistant while driving. They will also discover that DMS has special importance in the context of semi and highly automated driving as well as manual driving.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Strategies for Driver Monitoring Systems in Europe, finds that the total DMS shipment in the passenger vehicle market was approximately 4.44 million units in 2014 and estimates this to reach 5.61 million by 2021.