There May Be an End to Drowsy Drivers

Drowsy drivers present a big problem on U.S. roads every year. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 20 percent of traffic deaths are the direct result of a drowsy driver. Drowsy drivers routinely fall asleep at the wheel or take their eyes off the road for too long and cause accidents with many of those accidents being fatal because of the circumstances.

It’s why one automobile company has gone out of its way to try and prevent drowsy drivers from wreaking havoc on everyone else on the road.

Hyundai Mobis has come up with a new type of technology called Departed Driver Rescue and Exit Maneuver that debuted at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.The technology allows for a vehicle to briefly switch over into Level 4 autonomy if a driver is ever temporarily incapacitated due to drowsiness or another factor. DDREM doesn’t require much in terms of extra hardware inside of vehicles, but it could potentially play a huge role in preventing accidents. It would, in theory, allow a vehicle to control itself whenever a drowsy driver is unable to control it on their own. Best of all, it relies on a lot of the driver-assistance technology, like electronic power steering and GPS, that already exists in most modern vehicles to get the job done, so it wouldn’t take much to start installing it in new vehicles soon.

To be clear, drivers would not be able to use Hyundai Mobis’ new DDREM feature to operate their vehicles autonomously. Hyundai Mobis has been quick to point out that, in most cases, cars using DDREM would only be able to control themselves for about a mile at most before finding an acceptable place to pull over and park. But the hope is that DDREM could stop drowsy drivers from causing unnecessary crashes while also benefiting those who suffer unforeseen medical emergencies like heart attacks and seizures while behind the wheel. It could start showing up in vehicles by the time 2022 rolls around, if all goes according to plan.

At 4N6XPRT Systems, we understand the importance of vehicle safety. We’ve spent more than 20 years developing powerful accident reconstruction software tools like 4N6XPRT StifCalcs to help attorneys, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies establish fault in car accidents.