Driver Health Analytics: Active Health Monitoring in Automobiles

calendar_today 23 December, 2022 person_outline Growth Plus Reports

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With a constantly changing lifestyle, health monitoring has become an important aspect of human life. The automobile industry is working closely with the healthcare sector to ensure driver road safety by implementing advanced healthcare analytics. The major player in this case is Artificial intelligence (AI) powered algorithms, designed around monitoring driver condition, behavior, and health.

Technology:

The in-vehicle driver monitoring technology revolves around biometric feedback sensors and cameras. This form of driver monitoring is classified as ‘Active Driver Monitoring’.

The biometric feedback sensors are positioned near the driver’s seat, seatbelt, or the steering wheel for health analysis. These sensors are programmed to obtain data with respect to heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, body moisture, body pressure, and body temperature. Another way to obtain driver health data is via a wearable device. Driver health monitoring systems work in conjunction with other safety systems like ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems).

Some of the key parameters for driver health monitoring solutions include:

  • Monitoring ECG using sensors embedded in the seat back using conductive fabric and capacitive electrodes
  • Respiration Monitoring using accelerometers and EPIC (Electric Potential Integrated Circuit). EPIC can detect minute changes in electrical fields, which makes it a useful tool in contact-free respiration and in some cases ECG monitoring
  • Blood pressure monitoring can be achieved by using BP monitors in a wristwatch form
  • Asthma or allergy monitors and alerts. Location-based alerts about pollen and pollution levels can be implemented

Implementations:

Some key companies that are working towards driver health analytics:

Key suppliers and start-ups involved in driver Health Analytics:

DENSO: Driver status monitor of DENSO performs visual analysis of driver’s condition based on driver’s face. It detects distraction, drowsiness and then alerts the driver of any potential danger

SMART EYE: Eye-tracking tech used in development of driver’s environment

ADAM (Adaptive Driver Attention Management): This Israel-based start-up has claimed to have added a “cognition layer” driver analytics system

Scientists at Toyota and Mazda are in the process of developing an in-vehicle cardiac monitoring system. The research is focused on developing predictive AI algorithms that can detect cardiac events before they happen. The aim is to install cardiac sensors directly into vehicles so that the vehicle can detect the heart anomaly and warn the driver and in case where driver is unresponsive, the car can pullover and stop and generate an alert for help.

Upcoming Trends:

Experts suggest that by 2025, cars will no longer be just a basic transportation resource but a complete package with driver safety at priority. Automotive giants such as Tata, Toyota, Mazda, Volkswagen and Hyundai are working towards creating safer cars and one that can monitor driver’s vitals.

Current Challenges:

  1. Using Camera Assisted Driver-Face Monitoring: For facial distress expression needs the driver to co-operate with the technology. Drivers swaying their heads may make it difficult for the camera to capture their facial expressions. To overcome this, camera positioning also becomes important.
  2. Biometric Sensor Placement: Biometric sensors require the driver to be in continuous contact with the area where they are placed. Some currently identified areas are seat, seatbelt, and the driving wheel.
  3. Data Privacy and Security Concern: People are concerned about companies collecting health vitals data.
  4. Affordability: Driver health analytics is based on highly complex A.I. algorithms and a variety of equipment and sensors, which makes its overall vehicle implementation costly, and increases the vehicle cost. This may make it challenging for the companies to include it in every segment.

Driver health monitoring systems will surely enhance the driver safety and make the commute safer. Such systems are important in today’s world where stress-induced health fatalities are on the rise.

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