Consider user acceptance of driver fatigue detection systems to be dependent on ease of use, ease of learning, perceived value, driver behavior, and advocacy.
Nationwide experience with driver fatigue detection measures and technologies
Made Public Date


United States

An Evaluation of Emerging Driver Fatigue Detection Measures and Technologies


This research examined state-of-the-art emerging driver fatigue detection and alertness monitoring technologies, and included recommended guidelines to facilitate the development of system requirements, measure performance, and evaluate user acceptance. The findings reported were derived from literature searches of technical and scientific journals as well as correspondence with researchers, engineers, and product managers involved in developing these technologies.

Lessons Learned

The guidelines below have been extracted from the source report and presented from a systems engineering perspective.

Consider the following when eliciting stakeholder requirements that can be used to validate user acceptance.

  • Ease of use - Determine the degree to which drivers find the technology understandable, usable, and intuitive in its operation and maintenance.
  • Ease of learning - Determine if the system is being used as intended over time. Findings are generally obtained from long term (longitudinal) studies that examine user feedback.
  • Perceived value - Assess the degree to which drivers perceive benefits in terms of a safer or more alert driving environment, and balance benefits against any undesirable outcomes such as over-reliance on the system, as well as perceived health risks and privacy concerns.
  • Driver behavior - Assess the degree to which driver exposure to the technology impacts cognitive and temporal resources required for proper awareness and reaction time. It is also important to assess impacts on lifestyle changes that can be used to improve fatigue management.
  • Advocacy - Assess the willingness of drivers both to purchase a safety device (whether on an individual or commercial basis) and to endorse it to others.

Consider the following when developing technical requirements to guide system designs.

  • The device should monitor driver behavior in real-time.
  • The device should be consistent in its measurement over time and it should measure the same event (operationally and conceptually) for all drivers.
  • The device should be able to operate accurately and reliably in both daytime and nighttime illumination conditions.
  • For devices that produce audible warnings, it should be possible to hear the auditory output under all driving conditions at a level that is not startling to the user. The volume of auditory output should be adjustable over a reasonable range (approximately 50dB to 90dB).
  • The device should be able to operate accurately and reliably in the expected truck cab vibration environment.
  • The device should be able to operate over the expected range of truck cab temperature and humidity conditions, in both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned environments.
  • The device should be designed to minimize false negatives and false positives.
  • The device should be able to operate continually and robustly over time with only normal maintenance and replacement costs.

Consider the following when developing test plans to measure performance.

  • The device should measure what it is supposed to, operationally (e.g., eye blinks, heart rate, etc.). The device should also measure what its manufacturer purports to measure, conceptually. For example, a device that claims to measure alertness should provide comprehensive evidence of the relationship between the measured variable (e.g., PERCLOS, EEG) and the purported variable (alertness).

Overall, a successful deployment is unlikely to occur if users do not deem the technology acceptable and acceptance is dependent upon the degree to which a driver perceives benefits and costs. If the potential safety benefits do not outweigh the costs it is unlikely the system will be purchased by users.

An Evaluation of Emerging Driver Fatigue Detection Measures and Technologies

An Evaluation of Emerging Driver Fatigue Detection Measures and Technologies
Publication Sort Date
Barr, Lawrence; Stephen Popkin; and Heidi Howarth
U.S.DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,

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