Indian scientists design yawn alert for drivers

Wednesday, 29 July 2009, 10:07 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Indian scientists design yawn alert for drivers
Washington: We've all been through the familiar experience of feeling sleepy while driving. But what if your car could nudge you when you started yawning and warn you to pull over and take a break?

That's the aim of a new in-car yawn-detection system being developed by an Indian-American and two other budding Indian scientists.

Aurobinda Mishra of Vanderbilt University, in Nashville and colleagues Mihir Mohanty of the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), Orissa and Aurobinda Routray of IIT Kharagpur have developed a computer programme that can tell when you are yawning and could prevent road traffic accidents.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 100,000 road crashes are caused by driver fatigue each year.

The programme is based around an in-car camera hooked up to an image-processing software that captures a sequence of images of the driver's face.

It then analyses changes in the face and accurately identifies yawning as distinct from other facial movements such as smiling, talking, and singing.

The yawn frequency is then correlated with fatigue behaviour and could then be hooked up to a warning system to alert drivers of the need to take a break.

The algorithm is effective at yawn detection regardless of image intensity and contrast, small head movements, viewing angle, spectacle wearing, and skin colour.
Source: IANS
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