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New technology a wake up for start-ups

Monday, 15 November 2010 | By Michelle Hammond

Business start-up for sleep driversDriving is often associated with long stretches of road, particularly in Australia where you can drive for days and still be in the same state.

 

 

Falling asleep at the wheel is one of the most common causes of car crashes, and the death tolls don’t appear to be going down.

 

Fortunately, German scientists have invented a device that prevents drivers from falling asleep while driving.

 

The system involves tiny cameras that monitor eye movements, and an alarm is triggered when drivers are about to nod off.

 

Eyetracker processes up to 200 images a second to detect sleepiness using parameters such as line of vision and eyelid position, irrespective of the position of the driver’s head. The alarm can be flashing lights, a bell, siren or even a vibrator on the steering wheel.

 

In this vast country of ours, there is certainly a need to protect drivers as much as possible, particularly with so many people on the road.

 

Trucking companies would jump at the chance to provide their drivers with a sleep-triggered alarm, as would grey nomads and families covering large distances.

 

There is certainly an opportunity for a tech-savvy start-up to take advantage of European engineering and introduce a similar product here in Australia.