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Patent for License with Right to Enforce:

Driver Alertness Monitoring    

A visual system for detecting alertness and vigilance of persons under conditions of fatigue, lack of sleep, alcohol and drugs.

Overview

A visual systems detects alertness and vigilance of persons under conditions of fatigue, lack of sleep, and exposure to mind altering sub stances such as alcohol and drugs.

In particular, the invention can have applications for truck drivers, bus drivers, train operators, pilots and watercraft controllers and stationary heavy equipment operators, and students and employees during either daytime or nighttime conditions.

The invention robustly tracks a person’s head and facial features with a single on-board camera with a fully automatic system, that can initialize automatically, and can reinitialize when it needs to and provide outputs in real-time.

The system can classify rotation in all viewing direction, detects’ eye/mouth occlusion, detects’ eye blinking, and recovers the 3D (three dimensional) gaze of the eyes.

In addition, the system is able to track both through occlusion like eye blinking and also through occlusion like rotation.

Primary Application of the Technology

Automotive market, plus additional industries include: airlines/aerospace, trucking, trains, industrial equipment.

How the Technology Solves the Problem

The system is checking for several detected conditions from visual images of the driver from a single camera. In particular it checks frequency values of prolonged rotations of the driver's head, eye closings of the driver, and yawning of the driver within several frames of a detected visual image. Alarm signals can be generated if the frequency values of the measured driver vigilance exceed pre-selected values. Alarm signals can be given to the driver immediately in both visual or sound emitting forms. Additionally, alarm signals could slow down the vehicle and/or stop the moving vehicle. Plus alarm signals could also be sent to remote locations.

Competitive Advantage

- The system operates in real time.
- Uses computer vision to monitor both the eyes and the rotation of the driver's head through video sequences.
- Monitors full facial occlusion of the driver.
- Monitors alertness without shining light (artificial, infrared, LED, etc.) on the driver's face.

Patent Summary

U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:

Class 340: Communications: Electrical

Communications - the handling of information or intelligence, restricted to the conveying of said information or intelligence between geographically spaced points. Information or intelligence is defined as being, matter which is handled by signaling systems or signaling devices (such as telegraph systems) or by that portion of nonsignaling systems or nonsignaling devices (such as power supply systems) which is designated in the arts as having a control function (such as the supervisory circuits which control the circuit breakers of an electric power network). Handling, as used above, is defined as being the active coaction between the tangible communication system or device and the intangible information or intelligence, and such coaction may assume various forms, such as transmission, storage, exhibiting, etc.

Subclass 573.1: Human or animal
Subclass 575: Sleep
Subclass 576: Drive capability

Class 348: Television

Generating, processing, transmitting or transiently displaying a sequence of images, either locally or remotely, in which the local light variations composing the images may change with time.

Subclass 77: Human body observation