Drowsiness Detection – A growing market

Driver fatigue is one of the most significant factors that lead to vehicle accidents. According to the VSR report 2009, 20% of crashes and 12% of near-crashes were caused by the drowsy drivers. Specifically, each year nearly 100,000 drowsiness-related accidents are reported in the US, which results in over 70,000 injuries; 1,500 mortalities, and monetary losses of close to US$12.5 billion. To response to the influence of driver drowsiness on the driving safety, there has been a need for a detection system that can monitor and quantify driver drowsiness and provide a possible warning to the drivers. There are numerous drowsiness detection systems available on the market. Most of the drowsiness monitor systems are based on criteria such as eye closures, lane position, or steering.

 The high prevalence of sleep disorders is a result of lifestyle choices, changing sleep-cycle and use of medications which leads to the increasing in driver stress, fatigue and drowsy driving. The most effective system for drowsiness detection is through monitoring the driver face. This kind of system is a real-time one that observes the drivers’ physical and mental conditions throughout the processing of face images. The driver status can be explored from eyelids closure, blinking, gaze direction, yawning and head movement. The system will alarm the drivers that they are in drowsy, fatigued and distracting condition.

With the increasing demand in automobile safety, government legislation has additionally encouraged the evolution of the drowsiness monitor system in order to strengthen the capability of providing timely alerts of impending risks and dangers. This proactive safety technology is gaining more favors from both OEM manufacturers and consumers. According to the “Drowsiness Monitors: A Global Strategic Business” report published in January 2015, the drowsiness detection system market is expected to worth US$1.1 billion by 2020. Although there has been a high demand in automobile safety technologies, currently the drowsiness system is still mostly used by premium car passengers due to the high cost. The main key players in this market are Continental AG (Germany), Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), Denso Corporation (Japan), Magna International (Canada), and Valeo (France). These five key players together accounted for 70% of the total market share in 2012. Continental AG was the market leader with 19% of share and it was followed by Robert Bosch, Denso, Magna, and Valeo.

In the geographic segments, the North America and Europe are representing as the largest market of drowsiness detection systems. These regions are not only known as the high rate of technologies adoption areas but also the stringent government legislation on road safety. Besides, due to the leading in the high premium car manufacturers, there is a high demand of driver assistance systems for safety in these two regions. This trend leads to the highest consumption for drowsiness detection market. Additionally, Asia pacific is reported as the highest growth for the drowsiness monitor systems market because of the largest passengers’ car manufacturers including Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and etc. In the driver assistance systems market, this region has a growth trend in the next five years due to the increasing vehicle demand, the changing in buying preferences and the improving lifestyle.

The drowsiness detection systems market is globally gaining a high growth in recent years. This encourages the continuous innovation of the technology in order to provide the consumers the best safety system for detecting and preventing the risks and dangers on roads.