Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Will A Next Generation Car Realize And Wake Me Up When I'm Super Sleepy - Vol.238

Falling asleep while driving can pose serious risks to yourself and other drivers on the road. The Virginia Tech Transit Institute conducted a recent study that found that approximately 20% of all car crashes are a result of driver fatigue, and of those the most vulnerable group of drivers is 18-20 year olds. Some of the easiest times for drivers to become exhausted and start to doze off while driving is during long stretches of road on road trips.

In an effort to reduce these problems cars are now being equipped with automated sensors that detect when a car is veering out of the lane. This new system is known as the Driver Attention Warning System and was first designed by Volvo to be installed in their vehicles. The project has been expanded upon and renamed depending on what make and model you are driving.

How Does It Work?
One thing that all of these detection symptoms have in common is that they work by using a front facing visual imaging symptom mounted beneath the vehicle to take observation of lane markings on both sides of the car. Any image that is processed through the camera is sent through a certain algorithm to determine whether you intentionally swerved out of the way to avoid a tire in the road, or if you were drifting outside of the lane because you started to fall asleep.

A few select vehicles are also equipped with a facial recognition system that is pointed on you at all times. When it starts to observe activities related to falling asleep such as your eyelids closing shut, it will initiate the alarm system.

How Does It Alert You?
Once the system is triggered, it uses a combination of sensors and alarms to alert you and attempt to wake you up. One typical alert is to flash a warning light on your dashboard like where the check engine light would typically be. This is usually combined with an audio alarm that is set to either beep or provide you with a message through the speaker system such as "You are getting too tired to drive, please pull off the road."

If your driving patterns improve and you start to drive back into the lane, the alarm should switch off so that you can continue driving without an obnoxious sound in the background; however, if you repeat the same pattern, several things have been known to happen. One model of vehicle has a system installed within the seat that will vibrate your seat to alert you. Other cars increase the volume of their alarm so that it can't not be noticed, or require you to perform a certain action to manually turn off the alarm by hand; and a few cars are designed so that when the alarm goes off so many times, it will not turn off until you turn the vehicle off and get out of the car.

Is This The Way Of The Future?
No doubt these symptoms are going to get better and better into the future. The goal is to help wake you up and to ensure that you don't fall asleep on the road, but the number one way to avoid accidents is to remain vigilant and to know your limits. No amount of technology?except for maybe self-driving cars?will ever be able to completely replace good driving skills.