A Smart-Dashboard: Augmenting safe & smooth driving

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/COM

Abstract: Annually, road accidents cause more than 1.2 million deaths, 50 million injuries, and US$ 518 billion of economic cost globally. About 90% of the accidents occur due to human errors such as bad awareness, distraction, drowsiness, low training, fatigue etc. These human errors can be minimized by using advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) which actively monitors the driving environment and alerts a driver to the forthcoming danger, for example adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, parking assistance, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, driver drowsiness detection, and traffic sign recognition etc. Unfortunately, these systems are provided only with modern luxury cars because they are very expensive due to numerous sensors employed. Therefore, camera-based ADAS are being seen as an alternative because a camera has much lower cost, higher availability, can be used for multiple applications and ability to integrate with other systems. Aiming at developing a camera-based ADAS, we have performed an ethnographic study of drivers in order to find what information about the surroundings could be helpful for drivers to avoid accidents. Our study shows that information on speed, distance, relative position, direction, and size & type of the nearby vehicles & other objects would be useful for drivers, and sufficient for implementing most of the ADAS functions. After considering available technologies such as radar, sonar, lidar, GPS, and video-based analysis, we conclude that video-based analysis is the fittest technology that provides all the essential support required for implementing ADAS functions at very low cost. Finally, we have proposed a Smart-Dashboard system that puts technologies – such as camera, digital image processor, and thin display – into a smart system to offer all advanced driver assistance functions. A basic prototype, demonstrating three functions only, is implemented in order to show that a full-fledged camera-based ADAS can be implemented using MATLAB.

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