The Swedish National Road together with Transport Research Institute has recently launched a challenging and potentially far-reaching research project held in Europe these days. As for Scania Trucks, the company is taking part in a study, aimed at monitoring the conditions for drivers to rest inside of autonomous trucks. One of the main objectives is to advance existing algorithms that help to detect sleepiness, as well as the reasons for the driver’s distraction.
A total of 10 drivers has participated in a 24-day test period. They have been operating the latest version of a Scania S 500 truck driving 460 km a day over an average time span of five hours. The experiment has involved two consecutive days of tests for each driver. During this time, the participants should first complete a cognitive pre-test on a driving simulator. Then, they drive a real truck but only half a distance. In the course of the second half of the journey, they take the passenger seat to rest, while there is another driver in the cab to drive the vehicle. And the following day, there is only one driver for the entire trip. Finally, the drivers are to undergo one more test on a simulator.
For the purpose of identifying drivers’ physical exertion, the participants are wired with a range of sensors and electrodes to register the heart rate, shoulder tension, eye blinks, etc. Additionally, there are three cameras to monitor drivers’ facial movements. Thus, the researchers plan to detect algorithms for different states of the driver’s mind (positive, scared, neutral, etc.) and use this data to enhance Scania trucks (https://www.truck1.eu/trucks/scania) with regard to the issue of driver and road safety.
To fulfill the objectives of the project, Scania Trucks has combined forces with a number of the leading European educational establishments and research centers.