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Driving simulation gets augmented

​In the future, vehicles will be able to tell how their drivers are feeling, both physically and mentally, and take appropriate measures to ensure optimal safety. Some of the research that will one day enable these smart capabilities are already happening on driving simulators equipped with CEA-Leti sensors.

Published on 2 November 2021

​CEA-Leti has built a driving simulator equipped with physiological sensors that manufacturers can use to test the solutions they are developing for tomorrow's vehicles. Road testing in the early stages of product development is expensive and raises obvious safety concerns. The simulator removes these limitations so that manufacturers can test early.

To build on research previously completed for the EU Hadrian project, scientists at CEA-Leti needed a cost-effective way to gather driving data and implement CEA-Leti technologies in automotive use cases. A standard, commercially available simulator was acquired to realistically simulate different environments (CGIs, vibrations, etc.) and generate different driving scenarios on demand, replicating unexpected events like a dog crossing the road, or a traffic jam.

CEA-Leti added its own sensors and software to the simulator. Data on drivers is gathered by cameras, touch sensors on the steering wheel or seat, and wearable physiological sensors. The platform can be used to test a wide range of sight, touch, and hearing solutions built on visible and IR optical technologies, radar, high-performance microphones, motion sensors, heart and breathing rate monitoring sensors, and more. The objective is to gather data about the driver from these sensors and use it to predict whether the driver is drowsy, distracted, or stressed.

The simulator is designed for automotive equipment suppliers and vehicle (taxi, truck, etc.) fleet managers, but it could also be of use in video gaming and pilot training.

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