Hyundai Mobis announces technology to eliminate drowsy driving fatalities

  • Mobis DDREM technology detects when a driver has dozed off and has begun to depart the road and autonomously guides the vehicle to safety
  • The technology is software-based and potentially adds only one low-cost infrared camera to vehicle hardware for any OEM, DDREM could bring specific safety-related autonomous technology to the public by 2022
  • By focusing only on the safety benefits of autonomy, DDREM technology will bring the benefits of autonomous driving to market more quickly and potentially ‘cure’ one of the five major causes of vehicle fatalities

Hyundai Mobis, will unveil the latest life-saving DDREM (Departed Driver Rescue & Exit Maneuver) technology at CES 2018. DDREM uses three checkpoints to determine if a driver begins to depart from the driving role, and requires assistance. If departure is detected, DDREM technology takes over driving controls, scans the environment and guides the vehicle to a safe stopping point away from traffic.

DDREM uses three identifiers to determine if a driver is at risk and compares driver actions to a database of drowsy driving incidents. Checkpoints include:
• An infrared camera scans driver facial and eye movements to determine if the driver keeps eyes forward, changes blinking patterns or exhibits other signs of drowsiness. The camera used by Mobis has been tested and can “see” through glasses with ease;
• The technology looks for key identifiers used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) – if the driver is moving in and out of a lane, crossing lanes, zigzagging or making erratic movements consistent with drowsy driving accidents; and
• If DDREM determines that the driver has fallen asleep, it transitions vehicle control to level 4 autonomous driving mode. The software uses vehicle hardware already found on most new cars – including electronic brakes, electric power steering, radars, and camera systems – as well as basic mapping and GPS to identify a safe place for the vehicle to pull over and stop. In most “rescue” cases, DDREM will only need to function in full autonomy mode for less than a mile, minimizing the exposure and complexity of the self-driving system.

As OEMs, suppliers and technology companies race to bring level four and five autonomy to market, the conversation is centered around the complexity, infrastructure and governance required for full autonomy. Because DDREM is solely focused on using autonomous driving to save lives – rather than as convenience technology –the solution could be introduced in new vehicles across OEMs much more quickly and cost effectively.

The current DDREM development has a limited role detecting and rescuing in response to drowsy driving, but the company plans to research and evolve the concept to operate in other critical situations, including medical incidents such as seizures, fainting, and cardiac arrest. As autonomous technology advances, DDREM capabilities could include guiding the vehicle directly to a nearby hospital in the case of a medical emergency.

Source: Hyundai Mobis