Rugged computers help drivers stay awake

optalert and nautiz x2 helps drivers stay awake
Written by Melker Wångdahl

Optalerts unique glasses detects drowsiness and helps drivers stay awake. In combination with the Nautiz X2 the system make the roads a safer place.

It’s estimated that around 328000 car crashes occur annually due to drowsy driving and that’s only in the USA. The odds of accidents are worse during long distances which are often required of professional drivers. Luckily Optalert has developed a solution to help drivers stay awake.

The solution consists of Optalert’s specialized glasses and software which in combination with the ultra-rugged Nautiz X2 tracks the driver’s drowsiness. The driver simply puts the glasses on and they are then quickly connected to the Nautiz X2 by Bluetooth. If any drowsiness is detected it triggers both visual and audio alarms in the rugged PDA.

Early warnings leaves time for action

While there are several systems that trigger an alert when the driver falls asleep, Optalert’s solution is the only one that can notice it before it actually happens. Through advanced eye-tracking Optalert’s glasses can detect the state of drowsiness, which happens before falling asleep.

The Eagle Light product, which is based on the Nautiz X2, will then gradually display how high the level of drowsiness is. This gives enough time to plan ahead for when to stop and helps drivers stay awake. It’s a lot safer to act in advance of falling asleep rather than being awakened by an alarm behind the wheel.

How Optalert help drivers stay awake

The specialized detection glasses track the velocity of the driver’s eyelid movements. A tiny and invisible LED light built into the frame of the glasses measures how far and how fast the eyelids are opened after being closed. This is safely done without interfering with the driver’s field of vision.

These measurements are then sent to the mounted Nautiz X2 which then transmits it to Optalert’s cloud-based system. The system calculates the drowsiness level and displays it in real-time on the screen of the PDA. With the help of the Nautiz X2´s GPS capabilities, Optalert also tracks all events triggered in the vehicle and plots them geospatially.

Optalert went rugged

After initially launching with a regular over-the-counter device Optalert quickly realized that one key customer group needed a real rugged solution. Many of Optalert’s customers operate in harsh environments and remote areas where the roads won’t be in the best conditions.

One of the places where the system is in use is the Australian outback. A dusty place where humidity is high, the roads cause big amounts of vibrations and temperatures can get extreme. The ultra-rugged Nautiz X2 had no problems handling the bumpy roads and the tough conditions. According to the users, it was a huge improvement that far exceeded expectations.

With the customization performed by Handheld on the Nautiz X2, the Eagle Light product starts up automatically. When the driver turns on the ignition the device will start up and quickly connects to the glasses. Minimizing the steps required to start monitoring is key to keeping drivers awake. A cumbersome device might not be used. Now all the driver has to do is activate the glasses.

If you´re interested in reading more about the solution check out the original case study.