The University of Leicester, England, in collaboration with the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina is conducting research into latest brain and eye monitoring technologies to reduce number of road accidents. The system combines two recent technology advancements, high-speed eye tracking, which records eye movements in detail with the help of infra-red cameras, and high-density electroencephalograph (EEG) technology, which precisely measures electrical brain activity using electrodes placed on the scalp.
The proposed system will be deployed in the vehicle and connected unobtrusively to the driver, with the EEG detecting brain signals that occur in the early stages of drowsiness. The eye tracker will support this by detecting erratic gaze patterns symptomatic of someone starting to feel tired. According to data from the Department for Transport, fatigue has been estimated to account for around 20% of traffic accidents on UK motorways. The research has managed to overcome the challenges of integrating eye-tracking and EEG technologies, and is leading to a better understanding of how the brain responds when the eyes are moving. Applications from the research are expected to become feasible within the next 3-5 years.