Driver Fatigue and
Microsleep Detection

Project Justification

Drowsiness and microsleep while driving belong to the main causes of road accidents and severely impair general road safety. Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) detecting critical states of fatigue are an important first part of just-in-time adaptive fatigue interventions. Finding feasible and effective intervention techniques still remains open. This project aims at determine the effectiveness of several electrical stimulation and chronobiological light measures to fight against microsleep.

Camera system setup mounted in the cockpit (left) and the monitoring station at the front passenger seat (middle). Participant equipped with various measuring devices (right).

Our Approach

170 male subjects have been exposed to severe sleep deprivation protocols (time since sleep = 30 h). The following driving tasks take place on a test track (1,5 km lap size) in a prepared test vehicle under the supervision of trained instructors and lasted for 4 h. The number of microsleep episodes and the time until the participants suffer from their first microsleep episode are taken as key indicator for the effectiveness of the fatigue countermeasures. The applied fatigue countermeasures are electrical stimulation, vibration based stimulation, and blue light exposure. Additionally driving data (lateral lane based driving errors, usual steering maneuver, unusual acceleration and braking behavior), behavioral data (eye gaze behavior, lid behavior), and psychophysiological data (EEG, ECG, Pupil size) are recorded.

Smart Eye Pro cameras for eye tracking with a mounted 8mm infrared-passing filter lens, a 120Hz infrared flashlight, and an additional mounted infrared camera for video recording (left, middle); head, eye, pupil and gaze tracking monitoring output (right)

Project Insights and Outcomes

Electrical stimulation, vibration based stimulation, and blue light exposure showed small effects on the delay or even prevention of microsleep episodes

Microsleep event during test drive 

Microsleep detection EEG driving simulator 

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