This project tested the innovative concept for detecting driver inattentiveness that was developed by Sphericon. This concept is based on steering system dynamics: the separation of driver actions from the effects of the external world on the vehicle’s lateral motion and using that relationship to evaluate driver alertness. When driver action is weighed against the effect of disturbances (bumps and road imperfections, wind gusts, etc.) on the lateral motion of the vehicle, a good measure as to the alertness or attentiveness of the driver can be obtained.
This project included the development and construction of a hybrid (hardware-in-the-loop) simulator which integrated a real steering system with a computerized simulator and with an elaborate set of sensors and data acquisition system. The use of such a simulator allowed experiments with inattentive drivers in the safe environment of the laboratory.
The comparative analyses conducted resulted in promising results. Although the analysis was qualitative in nature, the similarity of the pattern of the alertness index generated by DAISY to that produced by the subjective judgment method indicated the validity of the principles that govern the operation of DAISY.