Published on April 20th, 2017 | by SellAnyCar.com Team
Driver Attention Assist – A Car Safety Feature to Detect Drowsiness While Driving
Driver Attention Assist is an advanced safety feature that was first introduced by Mercedes-Benz in its luxury cars. The E-Class and S-Class cars by Mercedes-Benz were the first cars to be equipped with Driver Attention Assist, but with the passage of time, this safety feature has gained importance and a number of car brands are now introducing Driver Attention Assist with different names but with the same basic function. Driver Attention Assist is an amazing car safety technology that warns the driver of drowsiness behind the steering wheel and helps in avoiding a potential fatal road accident.
Driving can become tiresome, especially on long-distance journeys or when driving conditions remain unchanged like on the highways. The monotony of the path can often make a driver drowsy and that is when the chance of a fatal road accident heightens. According to an estimate based on scientific studies, 25% of all the dangerous road accidents are caused by drowsiness of driver. This highlights the danger of falling asleep momentarily while driving, and to avoid it, Driver Attention Assist is one of the most important car safety technologies.
Also read: 5 Advanced Vehicle Safety Technologies
How the Driver Attention Assist Works
The functioning of the Driver Attention Assist is very simple but critical for the safety of the driver and passengers of a car. The Driver Attention Assist can be found in the cars of different car brands with alternate names as Audi calls this safety feature in its cars as “Rest Recommendation System” while BMW calls this feature with the name of “Active Driving Assistant with Attention Assist” in its cars. The fundamental function of the driver assist technology remains the same, that is, to keep the driver attentive while driving. Having said that, this system can be supported by one or more technologies as different car manufacturers equip their driver attention systems differently.
Listed below are different technologies used by manufacturers for their version of Driver Attention Assist in a car to detect drowsiness and fatigue while driving:
Monitoring of Steering Movement and Speed
At the heart of this safety technology lies an extremely sensitive sensor that regularly detects the steering movements and speed. On the basis of this consistent monitoring, the Driver Attention Assist maps or records the individual behavior of the driver during first few minutes of every drive and then compares it to the current driving situation and steering behavior with the help of the car’s electronic control unit. Any changes to the steering movements and speed is considered as a sign of drowsiness by the system.
Lane Monitoring Technology
If Lane Monitoring Technology is used for Driver Attention Assist then it will use the car’s lane monitoring camera to monitor the position of the car and detect any sudden or slow drifting behavior including lane swerving or poor lane change. Failure to maintain lane discipline is considered as a sign of drowsiness by this system.
Technology for Driver’s Face and Eye Monitoring
This technology uses a camera to support the Driver Attention Assist that continues to monitor the driver’s face and eyes to detect the signs of drowsiness. If the system detects the driver not looking towards the road ahead or if the driver’s eyes are not fully opened or the eye lids are closing then it translates this behavior as drowsiness. Not having the driver’s face towards the road or partially opened eyes are considered as signs of drowsiness by this system.
Now this is the most advanced type of technology that can be used in a Driver Attention Assist. This technology involves the use of body sensors to detect the signs of fatigue, lethargy and drowsiness by tracking the heart rate, brain activity and muscle activity.
How Driver Attention Assist Alerts the Driver of Drowsiness
Driver Attention Assist detects any lapse in attention of the driver and tracks even a small sign of drowsiness. Once it finds the driver becoming drowsy, it alerts and warns with the help of a loud audible signal and by flashing a warning on the instrument cluster display. In this way, it brings the attention of the driver back to driving and helps to avoid the risk of a dangerous road accident. It is important to take a break from driving and stop at the nearest rest area if the Driver Attention Assist warns the driver of drowsiness.
Key Indicators of Drowsiness Detected by Driver Attention Assist
Along with the steering movements and steering speed, some other indicators of drowsiness detected by the Driver Attention Assist are longitudinal acceleration, lateral acceleration and speed of the vehicle. Moreover, the advanced type of Driver Attention Assist can also detect the use of pedals and turn indicators. The Driver Attention Assist that was first launched by Mercedes-Benz is an accomplished system that makes driving safe on long-distance journeys by keeping the driver active while driving.
Significance of Driver Attention Assist for Driving in the UAE
Driving in the UAE’s metro cities can test the patience of drivers while driving on the highways to make a long journey can cause fatigue and drowsiness. The monotony of such a long drive aided by lack of sleep or continuous driving can also lead to drowsiness, and even a second of lapse in attention can be fatal on the busy highways of the UAE. In order to avoid a dangerous situation caused by a sudden lapse in attention, Driver Attention Assist is a crucial car safety feature. The ability of this system is to observe one or a combination of multiple signs of drowsiness early on to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers.
The run-over accidents on the highways in the UAE have been a consistent worry for traffic authorities in recent times and most of the run-over accidents are either caused by over-speeding or by inattentive driving. A safety feature like Driver Attention Assist could be of great importance to avoid run-over accidents as it detects and warns the driver of a sudden change in the driving behavior.
Safe Driving Habits Assisted by Car Safety Features Can Save Lives
There is no alternative to driver’s attention on the road and it is important for motorists in the UAE to understand that with safe driving habits and proper use of car safety features, a deadly road accident can be avoided. Driver Attention Assist is a relatively new but an essential safety feature which could be a valuable addition to the safety pack offered in any car as it ensures added safety of the driver, passengers of the car and other commuters on the road. Along with the help of such a critical safety feature and habits like sleeping sufficiently before long-distance journeys and taking short breaks while driving can help you maintain maximum attention behind the wheel, thus ensuring road safety at all times.
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