At Nottingham Trent University in the UK, researchers are involved in a study in collaboration with a semiconductor company, Plessey Semiconductors to study the effectiveness and feasibility of an electrocardiogram (ECG) system embedded in the driver’s seat of cars, with unique sensors that can sense when drivers are starting to fall asleep at the wheel.
The system is known as Electric Potential Integrated Circuit (EPIC) which monitors heart rate, alertness and can sense when a driver has fatigue and could fall asleep at the wheel.
As driver fatigue is a contributory factor to many accidents, the aim of the study is to be able to embed a fabric based sensor system into the driver’s seat of a vehicle which can successfully detect the heart signals which indicate a loss of alertness.
Many fatigue sensing systems may simply alert the driver or try to wake him or her. The data collected by EPIC would be used to send a warning to the driver to pull over. The researchers envision the technology to do more than wake the driver. If the warning is ignored, the technology would take control of the vehicle and activate cruise control or what is known as lane departure technology in order to prevent accidents. The data would be sent over a wireless network to a control centre.
If the study is successful, the aim is to develop the seats for truck drivers and luxury cars.
The sensors would ideally be able to read through multiple layers of clothing.
Driver fatigue is a serious concern and can lead to serious and fatal car accidents. Truck drivers and shift workers are more susceptible to driver fatigue due to irregular sleep schedules. Even altering your sleep schedule by 1 hour can affect your level of alertness, i.e. daylight savings time.
If you or someone you know has been involve in a car accident, do not hesitate to seek out the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
People may not be aware of their rights or obligations after sustaining a personal injury and may feel overwhelmed about the legal process. Personal injury litigation is complex and Paciocco & Mellow represents many persons who have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of automobile accidents, slip and fall injuries and other types of personal injuries.
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