A driver-monitoring earpiece that reads brainwaves, developed by top-tier OEM supplier Hyundai Mobis, has been shown to cut driver drowsiness and inattentive driving in a bus trial.

    The Gyeonggi Research Institute conducted a study of the Hyundai Mobis M.Brain device, which was revealed in July 2021, using data from a pilot project with public bus drivers as test subjects.

    The M.Brain measures a driver’s condition on a real-time basis by detecting their brainwaves around the ears through sensors. Software with a noise-reduction filter then takes data from these brainwaves and alerts the driver through a tracking app.

    More usefully the system in which it works can prompt the tired driver with alerts for different sensory organs such as sight (activating LEDs around the driver’s seat), touch (prompting the vibrating seat), and hearing (piping sound through a headrest speaker).

    “As a result of the pilot application, it was demonstrated that drivers who put on M.Brain showed higher concentration levels and were less exposed to the dangers of being inattentive,” Hyundai Mobis said.

    The pilot project found drivers using M.Brain were 30 per cent more attentive after meals, a notorious time for drowsiness. It was also found to have reduced inattentive driving about 20 per cent on highways.

    Hyundai Mobis says it will expand the deployment of M.Brain to 300 public buses by the end of year. The plan is “to increase the size of the demonstration and adopt deep learning to speed up the analysis process,” it says.

    We’re not sure about the practicality aspect, but it looks to be a technology with some potential – particularly for public transport and freight drivers.

    MORE: Inside the suppliers, a look into Hyundai Mobis

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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