Improving Methods to Measure Attentiveness through Driver Monitoring
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) worked on a project sponsored by the Safety Through Disruption (Safe-D) National University Transportation Center (UTC) to improve algorithms that measure a driver’s attention level in real time, leveraging pre-existing data collected during a private (proprietary) study for General Motors (GM).
Driver inattention poses a significant problem on today’s roadways, increasing risk for all road users. In 2020, an estimated 3,142 lives were lost due to distracted driving. This is most likely an underrepresentation of the number of lives lost, as distracted driving is only determined through self-reports and accounts from witnesses. Driver monitoring systems (DMS) have the potential to identify when a driver is distracted and refocus their attention back to the forward roadway. However, the potential safety impact of these systems depends on how accurately they can differentiate between distracted and attentive driving.