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Technical Paper

PERCLOS+:Moving Beyond Single-Metric Drowsiness Monitors

Assessing driver drowsiness and providing timely alerts is the basis for drowsy driver monitoring systems. Though technologies are available that claim to reliably provide this function, they tend to be single-metric systems that may not be sufficiently robust for real-world operation. To address this issue, a prototype system that integrated two drowsiness measures was developed. The prototype combined machine-vision-based drowsy driver monitoring technology and the analysis of driver/vehicle performance parameters with the goal of more reliably assessing driver drowsiness. The prototype concept, called PERCLOS+, used PERCLOS (a slow eye-closure measure) in combination with lane deviation (to assess driver performance). Based on preliminary on-road tests, the prototype was found to be more robust than a single-metric system.
Technical Paper

Methodological Overview of the Drowsy Driver Warning System Field Operational Test

To address the issue of fatigued truck drivers, the U.S. Department of Transportation sponsored research to develop a Drowsy Driver Warning System. This system has been under development for several years and is at a point where it is ready for a Field Operational Test. The experimental plan calls for 102 drivers, each operating one of 34 instrumented heavy trucks for 16 weeks. Each vehicle is instrumented with video cameras and a variety of sensors to capture driver input/performance. This paper describes the method being used to conduct the study, including an overview of the data collection instrumentation.
Technical Paper

Methodological Approach for a Field Demonstration of a Camera/Video Imaging System for Heavy Vehicles

Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) display video captured from cameras mounted on the truck's fenders and trailer to drivers using displays mounted inside the truck cabin. C/VISs provide a countermeasure to blind-spot related crashes by allowing drivers to see objects not ordinarily visible by a typical mirror configuration. They also support drivers in determining the clearance between the trailer and an adjacent vehicle when performing a lane change. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) have collaboratively funded research on the development of C/VISs that operate during the day, as well as enhancing C/VISs to operate at night and in inclement weather. This paper presents the work performed in developing a C/VIS capable of being used in an eight-month technology field demonstration (TFD), which will allow the measurement of driver behavior with the C/VIS in a revenue-producing environment.
Journal Article

Enhanced Camera/Video Imaging Systems (E-C/VISs) on Heavy Vehicles

Large trucks were involved in more than 26,000 crashes between April 2001 and December 2003 as a result of making lane changes, merges, and turns [1]. As an alternative to mirrors (surrogate system), or to be used in combination with mirrors (enhancement system), the industry has been developing Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) directed toward improving visibility to the sides and rear of heavy vehicles. The current study describes development of an Enhanced C/VIS (E-C/VIS) directed at improving visibility in less favorable environmental conditions, such as nighttime and inclement weather.
Technical Paper

Drivers' Perspective on Fatigue in Local/Short Haul Trucking

Eleven focus groups were conducted nationwide to gain an understanding, from the local/short haul (L/SH) drivers' perspective, of the general safety concerns related to L/SH trucking and, specifically, the degree to which fatigue plays a role. As part of the discussions, drivers listed and ranked issues that they believed caused them fatigue on the job. The top five fatigue-related issues, ranked in terms of importance, were: (1) Not Enough Sleep, (2) Hard/Physical Workday, (3) Heat/No Air Conditioning, (4) Waiting to Unload, and (5) Irregular Meal Times. Based on the results of these focus groups, it appears that Fatigue is an issue in L/SH, but perhaps not to the extent that it is in long-haul.
Technical Paper

Development of a Performance Specification for Indirect Visibility Systems on Heavy Trucks

Approximately 28,000 crashes involving combination unit trucks occur each year when they are making lane changes, merges, or turns. One contributing factor in these crashes is inadequate visibility for truck drivers. Recent advances in video technology have heightened the prospect of improving commercial vehicle safety by improving drivers' vision around the truck. For such video systems to be implemented on heavy trucks, the systems/driver interface should be demonstrated as viable through research. This paper presents the Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) developed at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), the methodology used to test them, and some results obtained.