The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School stated that 250,000 drivers fall asleep at the wheel every day in the United States. CDC.gov claims the states has 6,000 fatal per year due to these drowsy drivers. We members of the LifeLine team understand the situation; in no way are we going to be able to stop these commuters from driving home after a long days work. So let us help them keep alert and awake!
What is LifeLine?
You're probably thinking "Lifeline", like those calls to dad or mom they give out on "Who wants to be a millionaire?" Or maybe your thinking more literal: "a rope or line used for life-saving". In both cases, you are correct! The wearable LifeLine system connects with an android phone and keeps the user safe and awake on the road through connecting them to a friend.
Our prototype consists of an Arduino with an accelerometer as part of a headset, monitoring a driver's performance of that well-known head dip of fatigue. This headset communicates with a Go lang server, providing the user's android application with the accelerometer data through an http connection. The android app then processes the x, y tilt data to monitor the driver.
What it does
The application user sets an emergency contact upon entry. Then once in "drive" mode, the app displays the x and y tilt of the drivers head, relating it to an animated head that tilts to match the drivers. Upon sensing the first few head nods of the driver, the LifeLine app provides auditory feedback beeps to keep the driver alert. If the condition of the driver does not improve it then sends a text to a pre-entered contact suggesting to them that the user is drowsy driving and that they should reach out to him. If the state of the driver gets worse it then summons the LifeLine and calls their emergency contact.
Why call a friend?
Studies find conversation to be a great stimulus of attentiveness. Given that a large number of drivers are alone on the road, the resulting phone connections could save lives.
Challenges we ran into
Hardware use is always not fun for software engineers...
What's next for LifeLine
- Wireless Capabilities
- Stylish and more comfortable to wear
- Saving data for user review
- GPS feedback for where the driver is when he is dozing off (partly completed already)
Thanks for reading. Hope to see you on the demo floor! - Liam