Specification of night driving simulator scenarios for driver alertness monitoring

International statistics identify driver drowsiness as a major cause of severe traffic accidents. Some researchers estimate, that in Finland, fatigue or lack of alertness is an important factor in every sixth fatal motor vehicle crash. Evidence indicates that reduced alertness, fatigue, sleepiness, or drowsiness are present in many road accidents, therefore, research efforts aiming to prevent these are justified.

Date

08/200407/2005. Project ended.

Funding

Henry Fordin Säätiö

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This research is not directly linked to the Center of Excellence of which the applicant is co-director but to a Mind-Tech research group which has four full time postgraduate members two of whom are from the department of Scientific Computing. The funding applied for here will support research, which is being coordinated by Narciso González Vega at the University of Jyväskylä, Agora Center, with the collaboration of professor Heikki Lyytinen and Ph.D. Jukka Kaartinen.

The goal of this subproject is to set up the functions and conditions for simulated night driving in a high-end driving simulator. This will enable the excution of a more ambitious research project aiming to reveal the starting and progressive development of suboptimal alertness or readiness states on the driver which, are incompatible with safe driving. Funding for this wider scope project has been applied to Akatemia. Due to their technical nature, the research tasks within the scope of this application are not included in the application made to Akatemia. However, they constitute the prerequisite conditions for the full realisation of the research activities in this wider scope project.

The driving simulator will be provided by Jyväskylä Science Park withinin a few months. Night driving scenarios will be set up considering the conditions which more likely facilitate the appearance of reduced alertness states and drowsiness on the driver. These, therefore, will focus on night driving environments, monotonous roads and motorways, and unexpected events which can increase the probability of driver’s performance impairment (e.g., accidents and near-accidents that can happen during the simulated driving due to reduced alertness). A technical report will be elaborated describing the technical specification of the night driving simulation scenarios. Publications in international journals will include the desription of the night driving scenarios resulting from the present research application.

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