Friday, May 18, 2012

No. 515: Technologies to prevent a car accident from occurring (May 18, 2012)

According to the National Policy Agency, the number of the dead in a car accident halved for the past 10 years, but the ratio of pedestrians to the total dead is on the rise. Automakers are actively addressing the development of a technology to prevent a car accident from occurring.

Nagoya University Professor Goro Ohinata paved the way to the technology to judge the deterioration of attentiveness of the driver from his eye movement in alliance with Toyota Motor. He focused on the fact that eye movement becomes slower when the driver gets tired or enters a crossing in an unstable emotional status. He is trying to build a mechanism to check the eye movement of the driver with the help of a camera installed in a car and give him a warning when his eye movement becomes slower. Using a driving simulator, he tested the mechanism against people of various generations. The three charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras installed in the car successfully detected the abnormal change of the driver. He plans to test the mechanism using a real car this autumn.

Nissan built EPORO that is a car-like robot. It runs with other robots keeping a certain distance between them while avoiding obstacles using a sensor. The company got ideas from a school of fish that travels to the destination, though each of fish seems to move at is own discretion. Honda developed a system to tell the driver the timing to apply the brake. The company tested this technology in Italy, and plans to put it into practical use in 2015.

Nagoya University Professor Kazuya Takeda developed a technology to predict a risk from the driver’s unnatural driving in alliance with Denso. While a man drives, the mechanism records such data as speed, inter-vehicle distance, and acceleration. When the drives starts to show driving with different characteristics, the mechanism presumes the possibility of inattentive driving and drowsy driving. “This technology can predict a risk three second beforehand,” Professor Takeda said.  

Nissan's EPORO

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