Human-centric detection and mitigation approach for various levels of cell phone-based driver distractions
Driving a vehicle is a complex task that typically requires several physical interactions and mental tasks. Inattentive driving takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving, which can endanger the safety of driver, passenger(s), as well as pedestrians. According to several traffic safety administration organizations, distracted and inattentive driving are the primary causes of vehicle crashes or near crashes. In this research, a novel approach to detect and mitigate various levels of driving distractions is proposed. This novel approach consists of two main phases: i.) Proposing a system to detect various levels of driver distractions (low, medium, and high) using a machine learning techniques. ii.) Mitigating the effects of driver distractions through the integration of the distracted driving detection algorithm and the existing vehicle safety systems. In phase- 1, vehicle data were collected from an advanced driving simulator and a visual based sensor (webcam) for face monitoring. In addition, data were processed using a machine learning algorithm and a head pose analysis package in MATLAB. Then the model was trained and validated to detect different human operator distraction levels. In phase 2, the detected level of distraction, time to collision (TTC), lane position (LP), and steering entropy (SE) were used as an input to feed the vehicle safety controller that provides an appropriate action to maintain and/or mitigate vehicle safety status. The integrated detection algorithm and vehicle safety controller were then prototyped using MATLAB/SIMULINK for validation. A complete vehicle power train model including the driver’s interaction was replicated, and the outcome from the detection algorithm was fed into the vehicle safety controller. The results show that the vehicle safety system controller reacted and mitigated the vehicle safety status-in closed loop real-time fashion. The simulation results show that the proposed approach is efficient, accurate, and adaptable to dynamic changes resulting from the driver, as well as the vehicle system. This novel approach was applied in order to mitigate the impact of visual and cognitive distractions on the driver performance.