FEBRUARY 6, 2009--A student design team from South China University of Technology (Guangzhou, China; www.scut.edu.cn) has devised a way to tap into the performance and design advantages of a soft-core, 32-bit embedded processor, an FPGA, and SoC design methodologies to create a prototypical real-time driver drowsiness tracking system. According to an article by Dave Elliott at Altera (San Jose, CA, USA; www.altera.com), by using an FPGA in the embedded design, the team was able to take advantage of the logic rich resources of the device for complex system-level functions.
The design team's prototypical real-time tracking system evaluates whether a driver is distracted or dozing and emits a voice alert when it detects extreme fatigue or another abnormal condition. The tracking system begins working once the vehicle is turned on. A digital camera equipped with a color camera image-sensing chip captures the driver's image, storing this data in external SRAM memory.
An image-processing algorithm, implemented in hardware to support real-time performance, analyzes the visual data, performing functions such as face and eye-zone positioning and at the same time analyzes the open/close status and winking frequency of the driver's eyes to determine whether the driver is distracted or dozing. For more information, go to: http://www.videsignline.com/211200716?cid=RSSfeed_videoimagingdesignline_vidlRSS