Driver monitoring

The road to zero casualties
created by printed electronics

How can we unobtrusively measure driver fatigue, stress, or illness to prevent accidents? And how can we help the driver in making the car a less stressful environment to be in. Together with the automotive industry, Holst Centre develops non-contact sensing solutions to effectively monitor driver alertness and advanced human machine interfaces that are more intuitive than today’s car interiors.

Recent studies have shown that up to 20% of all road accidents are fatigue related. Stress, anxiety, and anger increase the chance of having an accident by as much as 78%. Daydreaming accounts for 68% of driver distractions, much more than phone use (14%). These striking statistics underline the importance of a driver who is alert and in control.

At Holst Centre we aim for zero accidents and zero loss. Human behaviour is still the biggest factor in road accidents, but technology can greatly protect us from our own shortcomings. That is why we focus our efforts and innovations on three key aspects: driver vital sign-monitoring and intuitive human machine interfaces.

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Driver vital sign monitoring

Holst Centre develops non-contact sensing solutions based on printed electronics technologies. We are proposing to move away from traditional state detection solutions, such as steering pattern monitoring and driver eye and face monitoring, and toward next generation monitoring using physiological sensors that are able to measure vital signs in an unobtrusive way. We can use various sensors for monitoring multiple physiological parameters:

  • Body posture, weight which can be used for crash/impact preparation

  • Printed piezoelectric sensors for real-time unobtrusive heart-rate, and breathing-rate measurements

  • Temperature measurement (extremity and core), used for fatigue and general state

Intuitive human machine interfaces

Holst Centre works on innovative functionalities and technologies to functionalize the interior parts of a car. Every part of the car can be made into a human machine interface by integrating illumination and contact-less sensors for human interaction. These functionalities are built on thin and conformable films or directly onto the part. This does not only make the car a more attractive place to spend time, but it also reduces the environmental impact of the car.

Printed electronics

The key technology for enabling unobtrusive driver monitoring and intuitive human machine interfaces is printed electronics. Because of the form factors enabled by printed electronics, it is easy to functionalise and sensorise every part of the car. Printed electronics offer a low cost solution that is fully compatible with the automotive engineering and production environment. The combination of compact sensor functionalities offers complete design freedom. Furthermore, the technology is suitable for high volume manufacturing.

At Holst Centre we combine in-depth knowledge and long-standing experience in printed electronics with state of the art facilities, including sheet-to-sheet prototype manufacturing, and a roll-to-roll pilot line for volume production tests.