Denso's 'Driver Status Monitor' Employed for Commercial Vehicles

Apr 4, 2014
Takashi Takada, Nikkei Automotive Technology
The "Driver Status Monitor" installed under the shield over gauges
The "Driver Status Monitor" installed under the shield over gauges
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Denso Corp announced April 3, 2014, that its "Driver Status Monitor," which determines the driving state based on the image of the driver's face, has been employed for commercial vehicles of Hino Motors Ltd.

The vehicles are (1) the "Hino Profia" heavy-duty truck, which was remodeled April 1, 2014, (2) "Hino S'elega" large sightseeing bus and (3) "Hino Profia Electric Refrigerator Car," which was released Feb 1, 2014. This is the first time that the detection device has been employed for a commercially available vehicle.

The detection device has a small size because its near infrared camera and ECU (electronic control unit) are integrated. And it can be installed under the small shield over gauges.

It determines the orientation of the face, how much the eyes are open, etc based on the image of the driver's face taken by the camera. When the driver has not been facing forward or kept his/her eyes closed for a certain period of time, it sounds an alarm to warn the driver to drive safely.

With the near infrared camera, the detection device can stably determine the driver's state even when it is dark inside the vehicle.

For the detection of the driver's state, Denso's image recognition technology was employed. First, based on the image of the driver's face taken by the camera, the ECU detects facial parts such as eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Then, the orientation of the face is determined based on the relative locations of the facial parts to decide whether the driver is looking aside.

Also, based on how much the eyelids are open and their movements, the device estimates the driver's degree of abnormality such as sleeping.