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Honda Driver-aware Connected Car Insights from Patents

Honda Driver-aware Connected Car Insights from Patents

Honda patent applications US20130245886, US20140276112, US20140309881, US20140303899, US20140371984, US20150126818, US20160001781 and patent US8698639 describe systems implementing state monitoring of a driver for automatically adjusting the operation of a vehicle in response to the driver state (e.g., driver’s health, slower reaction time, attention lapse and/or alertness). For example, in situations where a driver can be drowsy and/or distracted, the motor vehicle can include provisions for detecting and assessing that the driver is drowsy and/or distracted and modifying vehicle systems automatically to mitigate against hazardous driving situations.

The driver state monitoring system includes different types of sensors for obtaining information regarding the physiological driver state, behavioral driver state, and vehicular-sensed driver state. The physiological sensors measure the heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen content, blood alcohol content, respiratory rate, perspiration rate, skin conductance, brain wave activity, digestion information and salivation information etc. For example, the driver state monitoring system includes optical sensing devices and/or thermal sensing devices to sense and provide a heart rate signal indicative of a driver state. The heart information can be detected from head movements, eye movements, facial movements, skin color, skin transparency, chest movement, upper body movement using the optical sensing devices and/or thermal sensing devices.

The behavioral information can include eye movements, mouth movements, facial movements, facial recognition, head movements, body movements, hand postures, hand placement, body posture, and gesture recognition etc. Vehicle information that is related to the vehicular-sensed driver state includes vehicle conditions, states, statuses, behaviors, and information about the external environment of the vehicle (e.g., other vehicles, pedestrians, objects, road conditions, weather conditions).

The driver state monitoring system includes a response system that can receive information about the states of the driver and automatically adjust the operation of the vehicle. The response system determines the driver state based on the receive information. For example, the driver state can be normal/drowsy or normal/distracted. The response system automatically modifies the control of the vehicle systems using various vehicle control systems. The vehicle control systems can include the automatic brake prefill system, engine control system, speed follow system, automatic cruise control system, collision warning system, lane departure warning system, blind spot indicator system, lane keep assist system, navigation system, HAVC control system, lighting control system, and vehicle mode selector system.

For example, if the response system determines that the driver is drowsy, the response system can modify the operation of the collision warning system so that the driver is warned earlier about potential collisions. The collision warning system can retrieve the heading, position, and speed of an approaching vehicle. In some cases, this information could be received from the approaching vehicle through a vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication network, such as a DSRC network. The collision warning system can estimate a vehicle collision point using information about the position, heading, and speed of the motor vehicle.


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