Delhi, 29th January 2023: Taking another step in the direction of warning systems to alert drivers of possible accidents if they doze off while driving, the central government has prepared a draft of its standards. In the first phase, preparations are on to implement it in two and three-class vehicles. Significantly, the M category refers to those four-wheeled vehicles that carry passengers (less than eight) apart from the driver, while N2 and N3 vehicles are used to carry goods.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had asked the Automotive Industry Standards Committee (AICS) to set standards for Driver Drizzling and Attention Warning (DDAW) systems on the lines of European countries to alert drivers in case of sleepiness. As per the draft prepared by AICS, this is a new feature to be implemented in the Indian market. In the case of DDAW, it is a period of collective learning with all parties involved.
At the initial level, if this system shows 40 per cent accuracy, then it will be considered a better basis to move forward. With experience and technical progress, this base standard can be extended further. Currently, the vehicles for which the standards of this system are being set, do not include city buses, school buses, double-decker buses, concrete mixers, and garbage pickup vehicles, but the manufacturers of these vehicles also adopt this system.
According to the draft, a technical requirement for the DDAW system is to trigger vehicle actions, i.e. based on the way the vehicle is moving, the system will monitor the driver’s condition and send warning alerts. The DDAW system will monitor the driver’s sleep level and alert the driver through an interface.
The system shall be designed in such a way that it eliminates or minimizes the possibility of an error rate. This system can alert the driver in two ways. One is through flash on the screen and the other is in the form of audio alerts. This type of system is used in many countries and they use different techniques. Apart from the position of the vehicles, the steering pattern and eye and face monitoring of the driver is also the basis of this.
According to a ministry official, the system will go a long way in reducing road accidents, as the driver’s sleepiness becomes extremely dangerous when the vehicle is moving at high speed. There is no data in our country as to how many accidents happened due to sleepy drivers, but it can be understood that among the accidents that happen from midnight to 4-5 in the morning, a major reason is drowsiness or sleep.
Recently, in an accident involving Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant on the Delhi-Dehradun highway in Uttarakhand, it was revealed that he had lost control of his car due to sleepiness.