IBEC, UB and FICOSA join forces to develop a mobile application to detect drowsiness while driving

A new technology to combat dozing off when driving developed by IBEC, UB and industry partner Ficosa will be presented at this week’s GSMA World Mobile Congress in Barcelona.

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The drowsiness alerter, Somnoalert®, is a smart phone application that uses inertial sensors and GPS data to detect movements that are characteristic of nodding off at the wheel, such as deviation from the driving lane, or sudden corrections. A later prototype also incorporates biomedical sensors to analyze respiration data.

The patented software is the result of a collaborative project between IBEC’s Signal and Information Processing for Sensing Systems group led by Santiago Marco, the UB’s Department of Electronic Engineering and Ficosa, a Barcelona-based multinational that researches, develops, produces and commercializes automobile systems and parts.

“One of the main causes of car accidents is drowsiness, especially on long highway trips,” explains Santiago. “Most monitoring systems developed in the last few years have been integrated systems that need to be connected to the car’s system. Our device combines our group’s expertise in sensors and biological data analysis with Ficosa’s vehicle know-how, and is completely portable.”

“Accidents related with drowsiness have a very high social and economical impact, that the key automotive industry players are facing as a whole, in order to reduce current accident statistics,” adds Alan Montesi, who is responsible for the project at Ficosa.

The GSMA World Mobile Congress is the industry’s biggest conference and is set to attract around 70,000 participants from more than 200 countries, including more than 3,000 members of the press.

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