SmartSense Driver-Assisting Sensors for Preventing Dangerous Driving Incidents

SmartDrive SmartSense™, an innovative suite of smart driver-assisting sensors developed in order to recognize the most perilous driving hazards and intervene with drivers well ahead of a disastrous incident, has been launched by SmartDrive Systems, a leader in video safety and transportation intelligence, on October 22, 2017.

The company integrated custom-made sensors with telematics, engine computer data, SmartDrive® analytic data, and accelerometer to develop “smart sensors” which possess the ability to enable advanced levels of precise danger recognition. By using reviewed video the sensor algorithms and a training database including more than 200 million investigated risky driving incidents, thereby enabling rapid tuning for idealizing triggering efficiency and system performance. The first sensor in the line, SmartSense for Distracted Driving, adopts these enhanced computer vision-based algorithms, combined with the SmartDrive video analytics platform, to mitigate inattentive and distracted driving.

(Credit: SmartDrive Systems)

It’s estimated that distracted driving accounts for 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 17 percent of all collisions that cause injuries—at a cost of at least $129 billion annually. Given the difficulty of proving distraction as a root cause, these numbers are probably low,” noted Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. “With SmartSense for Distracted Driving, we’re tackling this issue head-on by delivering an intelligent sensor tuned specifically to this risk. And, because it’s delivered with our video safety program, fleets finally have both a comprehensive view of the frequency, severity and impact of distracted driving, and a solution to an industry epidemic that costs money and lives.”

If SmartSense is integrated with the SmartDrive program and its Extended Recording efficacy, it provides fleets with absolute details of causes for driver distraction, how they occurred and the aftermath, thus allowing fleets to offer comprehensive evaluation and actionable coaching to enhance driver safety.

The distraction sensor from SmartDrive has taken our video safety program to the next level by capturing distraction risks we would not have seen otherwise, the new sensor works with our existing platform—extending the impact of our original investment and proving to be a valuable tool to eliminate distracting driving.

John Billingsley, director of safety and training, G&P Trucking, which took part in early trials of SmartSense.

Rather than solely depending on vehicle maneuvers (e.g. aggressive swerving, hard braking, or lane departure) to apprehend driver cell-phone use or other reasons for distraction, the SmartSensor deciphers driver hints, such as eye and head movements, proven to precisely imply distraction. Upon detecting inattention, distraction, or drowsiness, the sensor triggers a video, prioritized and offloaded for instant verification and intervention, thereby enabling fleets to act rapidly and accordingly.

Video evidence taken from the SmartDrive library asserts that drivers engaging in distracted driving usually exhibit an over-dependence on their potential to respond to hazardous situations in case they arise. For instance, before texting, drivers usually place themselves in perceived “safe modes” by changing to the right lane by adopting cruise control below or at the speed limit, and positioning themselves at a following distance that at first appears safe or in limited surrounding traffic. Moreover, drivers normally make incorrect estimation of the length of time and frequency of their distraction, texting for a longer time than evaluated, and also diverting their eyes from the road more often and for a longer time than estimated.

Today, the majority of computer vision-based technologies operate in isolation from other systems and sensors on the vehicle—which means they are acting on data only available from their own system. This is a missed opportunity that will limit options for fleets in this new age of intelligent transportation,” stated Mitgang. “With the SmartSense product line, we are taking a different approach by fusing sensor, vehicle and environmental data—creating a convergence of information that makes the entire system smarter and better able to help fleets prepare drivers for a world of more autonomous technology.”

SmartSense for Distracted Driving functions in combination with the SmartDrive video analytics platform, and includes the following:

  • Inattention and distraction triggers that notice when eyes are not on the road for a preset period of time or when a driver exceeds a particular number of distracted events
  • Custom-made hardware including infrared sensors for capturing distraction even if the driver wears sunglasses
  • In-cab alerts upon any inattention or distraction
  • Preferred review and risk scoring for distraction event videos
  • Integration with the validated SmartDrive video safety program

SmartSense for Distracted Driving will be obtainable in the first quarter of 2018. Visitors to the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition in Orlando may inspect the sensor at the SmartDrive booth, #323, till October 24, 2017. They can also attend the presentation of “Distracted Driving: You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See,” by John Billingsley, director of safety and training for G&P Trucking, in the booth, on Sunday, October 22, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. and on Monday, October 23, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.

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