The goal of the project goes far beyond monitoring vital signs and recognizing dysfunctions. "Our vision is to get the vehicle to detect when the driver is no longer feeling well and to the initiate appropriate measures," says Professor Lueth. "When a stress situation is detected by means of skin conductance values, phone calls can be blocked, for instance, or the volume of the radio turned down automatically. With more serious problems the system could turn on the hazard warning lights, reduce the speed or even induce automated emergency braking."
Two commercially available sensors are key elements of the integrated vital signs measurement system. One of them shines infrared light into the fingers and measures the heart rate and oxygen saturation via reflected light; the second measures the electric conductance of the skin at contact.
The scientists at MiMed have also developed a micro-controller application that processes the data and transfers them back to the vehicle. In order to extend the data pool and make as many reliable assertions as possible on the state of a driver's health, a radio connection can be established to additional external devices, e.g. a blood pressure monitor.
These results ensued from the research project Fit4Age in the "Assistance Systems for an Aging Society" group and were funded with grants from the Bavarian Research Foundation (BFS). Cooperation partners at the BMW Group did the technical installation of components into the vehicle.
|Contact: Dr. Andreas Battenberg|
Technische Universitaet Muenchen