Anti Sleep Pilot Explained
The gadget we are talking about is simply called Anti Sleep Pilot (ASP), it's no bigger than say an oversized pocket watch and will be available, starting next year, in more and more countries across the globe.
The ASP has been created with drowsy drivers in mind. Regardless of the reason, we all at one point drove with our eyes about to close, crushed by the countless hours of continuous work or strain. Simple in design and use, the ASP comes in the form of a little device which can be placed on the dashboard of the car, blending in with its surroundings.
The working principal behind the ASP is somewhat similar to the one used in some of the high-end cars manufactured across the world, like the Lane Departure Warning systems. Unlike automated systems like Lane Departure, this one, however, requires the physical interaction between the gadget and the driver, as a sort of extra reassurance that the latter is still awake.
ANTI SLEEP PILOT
The clock is used to keep track of the driving and reaction times. It is also used as a tool to asses various risk intervals for the day, an important element in detecting the fatigue level of the driver.
The light, sound and touch sensors are used to adapt the way in which the physical gadget looks and makes itself heard by adapting the degree of light it emits and the sound level to the ambiance in the car at any given time.
The system can be added to any car without modifying any of the vehicles elements. It is operated by batteries, hence no need to link it to the car's electronics and can be placed on the dashboard without drilling any holes.
HOW DOES IT WORK
The ASP uses both pre-recorded information as well regular input to operate. Each of the drivers to buy one will be asked by the ASP, as the first step in using it, to complete a test meant to determine the personal risk profile of the driver. The test asks you to record information regarding age, gender or work hours per week. This information will be used continuously by the system and correlated with by the minute info to calculate the state the driver is in.
Based on the aforementioned information, the ASP uses preset algorithms to calculate the driving fatigue level. The creators of the system, ASP, say that these algorithms are based on intensive study of the last years of scientific results in the field of sleep and road traffic so, by all accounts, it should be accurate and useful.
As a sort of an extra safety measure, ASP requires the driver to interact with it, at random intervals, to prove that he or she is still in good driving condition. The driver's alertness tests, as they are called, require the driver to reach for the ASP placed on the dashboard and touch it. Depending on the response time and after analyzing the stored data, the system knows whether it's time for a break or not.
If the need for a break is detected, sound and visual signals are emitted, telling the driver he should stop and give himself a little time off.
The ASP is perhaps the simplest and easiest to use system of its kind. It is relatively cheap (it will be sold in the US starting from $250), it can be used on any type of car you can think of, including very old ones and doesn't require any modification to the car or its systems. It is not linked to any other of the car's functions, so a malfunction elsewhere will not affect it. It requires the physical interaction (this is also an disadvantage) with the driver to make sure its message reaches the ear of the man or woman behind the wheel.
The system requires an annoying amount of information from the driver. As an irony, an already tired driver will find it very difficult (and will probably skip doing so) to tell the ASP for how long he has been awake before actually driving the car. The system can only be effective if the driver gives it the correct information. Asking an already tired driver to take his hand off the wheel and touch the ASP is another bad idea