Loughborough University is looking for car drivers to test the next generation of motoring technology – as part of a European road safety project. The i-DREAMS consortium has developed technology which monitors driving style and the surrounding environment to determine if a driver is ‘within acceptable boundaries of safe operation for the current conditions’.
The equipment will monitor factors that can lead to hazardous situations, such as fatigue, sleepiness or distraction. Real-time warnings will alert drivers if they go outside the safe operation zone, and post-trip feedback will give drivers better insight into their own behaviour and will help improve driving performance.
The project is in the second phase and now needs volunteers to take part in testing the technology. Researchers in Loughborough University’s Transport Safety Research Centre are looking for people who:
- Are over the age of 18
- Hold a full UK driving licence
- Live within an hour of Loughborough
- Travel an average of 6,000 miles-a-year
- Own an Android phone
- Have access to a car with fully comprehensive insurance
As part of the study, sensors will be installed in the vehicle to monitor the driver and environment. The primary sensor is Mobileye, which is used to measure the distance between vehicles and includes a collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection and lane departure warning.
The combined in-vehicle system also measures variables such as speed and acceleration. In addition, there is a wearable wristband that provides information on fatigue and sleepiness, and a forward-facing dashcam which records video when triggered by an ‘event’ – for example, a harsh braking event.
Due to the restrictions in place because of coronavirus, a start date has not yet been agreed, but the team is looking for people to volunteer now so that the study can start as soon as restrictions are lifted. Anyone who would like to take part in the study can register their interest by visiting the Loughborough University website.
Participants will receive £250 if they participate until the end of the trial. The i-DREAMS consortium consists of 13 partners, including research institutions as well as industry partners, from eight different countries. It is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.