WO2017093440A1 - Route selection for lowering stress for drivers - Google Patents

Route selection for lowering stress for drivers Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2017093440A1
WO2017093440A1 PCT/EP2016/079505 EP2016079505W WO2017093440A1 WO 2017093440 A1 WO2017093440 A1 WO 2017093440A1 EP 2016079505 W EP2016079505 W EP 2016079505W WO 2017093440 A1 WO2017093440 A1 WO 2017093440A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
route
route segment
rating
driver
data
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2016/079505
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Albertus Cornelis Den Brinker
Vincent Jeanne
Michel Jozef Agnes ASSELMAN
Kersten GERRIT MARIA
Murtaza Bulut
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Koninklijke Philips N.V.
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Priority to EP15197442.5 priority Critical
Priority to EP15197442 priority
Application filed by Koninklijke Philips N.V. filed Critical Koninklijke Philips N.V.
Publication of WO2017093440A1 publication Critical patent/WO2017093440A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C21/00Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00
    • G01C21/26Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00 specially adapted for navigation in a road network
    • G01C21/34Route searching; Route guidance
    • G01C21/3453Special cost functions, i.e. other than distance or default speed limit of road segments
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C21/00Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00
    • G01C21/26Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00 specially adapted for navigation in a road network
    • G01C21/28Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00 specially adapted for navigation in a road network with correlation of data from several navigational instruments
    • G01C21/30Map- or contour-matching
    • G01C21/32Structuring or formatting of map data
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C21/00Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00
    • G01C21/26Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00 specially adapted for navigation in a road network
    • G01C21/34Route searching; Route guidance
    • G01C21/3453Special cost functions, i.e. other than distance or default speed limit of road segments
    • G01C21/3461Preferred or disfavoured areas, e.g. dangerous zones, toll or emission zones, intersections, manoeuvre types, segments such as motorways, toll roads, ferries
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C21/00Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00
    • G01C21/26Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C19/00 specially adapted for navigation in a road network
    • G01C21/34Route searching; Route guidance
    • G01C21/3453Special cost functions, i.e. other than distance or default speed limit of road segments
    • G01C21/3484Personalized, e.g. from learned user behaviour or user-defined profiles

Abstract

There is proposed a system for route selection in navigation systems which can take into account the stress associated with driving a particular route. There is a route selection assistor for a vehicle controlled by a driver which comprises a first input configured to receive a geographical location, a data store configured to store and retrieve a route segment rating, the route segment rating being configured to be derivable at least partially from physiological information associated with route segment data for a route segment corresponding to the geographical location, and a route selector configured to select a route based on the geographical location and the route segment rating.

Description

ROUTE SELECTION FOR LOWERING STRESS FOR DRIVERS
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to route selection systems, and in particular to those for use in vehicles.
BACKGROUND
Most vehicles are driven or controlled by human beings for a significant part of the time that they are moving. The safety of the vehicle and, in particular of people in or in proximity to the vehicle depends on the aptitude of the driver. Stress has an influence on the aptitude: it is known that stress influences e.g. attentiveness, ability to react, reaction speed and making the right decisions. For the purposes here, 'vehicle' shall be taken to include any machine for transporting people or objects, powered by an engine or not. For example, cars and bikes are included.
Satellite navigation systems are frequently used to select a route for a journey between chosen start and end points. Their use is particularly prevalent in vehicles such as cars.
The route is often chosen at the start of the journey and only modified during the journey in exceptional circumstances such as the presence of a traffic jam.
Stress can depend heavily on factors like route type and route conditions. Therefore the choice of route or updating a chosen route could be valuable in reducing the stress and fatigue of the driver.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Therefore it is desirable to adapt the route selection by taking into account a stress rating associated with driving a particular route by providing a route selection assistor for a vehicle controlled by a driver which comprises a first input configured to receive a geographical location, a second input (8) configured to receive a physiological information indicative of the condition of the driver from a physiological measurement unit (9), said physiological information being obtained using at least one of remote photoplethysmography, an optical measurement of sweating and an optical measurement of respiration rate, a data store configured to store and retrieve a route segment rating, the route segment rating being configured to be derivable at least partially from physiological information associated with route segment data for a route segment corresponding to the geographical location, and a route selector configured to select a route based on the geographical location and the route segment rating.
The advantage of having route segment ratings in the data store and using them to calculate route proposals is that the route may be selected taking the stress of driving a particular route into account, especially in trying to lower the stress level relative to that which might result from a route selected purely according to other parameters.
The advantage of the computation unit being able to write route segment ratings to the data store is that they may be updated with more accurate information as can be seen below.
The advantage of using multiple methods of assessing the stress level of the driver is that they can be used together to obtain an more accurate result. Since these techniques are all optical, they may be advantageously implemented usign the same hardware.
The route selection assistor of claim further comprising a second input configured to receive a physiological information indicative of the condition of the driver from a physiological measurement unit.
The advantage is that the computation unit may use physiological information received at its second input in association with the current route segment as indicated by the geographical information to form a route segment rating which it stores in the appropriate location in the date store. Route segment ratings stored in this way will be available for future route calculations and may be more accurate than route segment ratings arrived at by other methods.
The route selection assistor may have a physiological measurement unit which comprises a camera configured to capture a plurality of video images. The advantage offered by a camera is that it is less intrusive and does not require the driver to perform additional operations of applying the sensor or wear particular equipment.
The route selection assistor may further comprise a satellite navigation device configured to provide the geographical location to the second input. By associating the physiological information with a geographical location, it may be used to calculate or derive a route segment rating. The route selection assistor may be further configured to identify the driver from the plurality of video images.
The actual level of stress or fatigue induced by a particular route segment may vary between individuals. For example some people are more comfortable with long distance driving on fast roads whereas others prefer driving in cities. Where route selection assistor creates the route segment rating, the route segment rating will be based on responses actually recorded from the driver. Personalizing the route segment rating has the advantage of being more attuned to the needs of the driver than using a generalized model or assumptions about which types of route segment are more or less stressful.
The inclusion of a driver identification in the route segment rating and provision in the data store for the storage of multiple ratings for each segment would offer the advantage of allowing the use of different ratings for different drivers. Recalling stored information relating to the driver would be advantageous for this because it would save reentering the information repeatedly.
The identification of the current driver could be achieved by having the driver use the input device to enter their identification. Where camera is being used as the sensor, identifying the driver from the images captured by the camera offers the advantage of saving the driver from having to enter their identity via the input device which would also help reduce errors.
The route selection assistor may be further configured to receive vehicle data and/or situation data, the route selection assistor being configured to store the vehicle data and/or situation data and select the route using the vehicle data and/or situation data.
The situation information can concern other factors that affect driving conditions, such as weather, time of day, time of year, the presence of road- works and, for night time, how light the night (situation information) is could also be used. For example, fast road segments could be weighted as more stressful when there is heavy rain. Factors such as weather and time of day may affect the driver and thus have a significant influence on the physiological information recorded. For instance, very bad weather could increase the level of stress recorded leading to an overly pessimistic rating for a given route segment. Therefore use of the situation information to give a weighting to the calculated route segment rating could be advantageous. The information concerning the vehicle (vehicle data) could be used advantageously to adjust the weighting for a route segment rating - for example, for a large vehicle, a weighting could be applied multiplier of the stress ratings which would influence the route selection process. The route selection assistor may also configured so that the route segment rating is based on a previously stored physiological information obtained from the physiological measurement unit. Such ratings may have the advantage of being more accurate than values based on assumptions such as road type.
The route segment rating is based on physiological measurements obtained from a plurality of drivers. Such ratings may have the advantage of being more accurate than values based on assumptions such as road type.
The route selection assistor may also have a wireless transceiver and at least part of the physiological information may be stored on on-line remote storage. In this way the physiological information may be uploaded to the on-line remote storage for aggregation with those of a plurality of drivers and aggregate route segment ratings could be downloaded, even while en-route.
There is also provided a navigation system comprising an input configured to receive physiological information from a physiological measurement unit comprising a sensor, a satellite navigation device configured to provide a geographical location, a data store configured to store route segment data in association with a physiological measurement result with the route segment data for the route segment corresponding to the geographical location in order to form a route segment rating, and a route selector configured to provide a route selection proposal based on the route segment rating.
This navigation system has the advantage of making the sharing and coordinating of the various tasks and processing easier. Another advantage of this
arrangement is that the hardware for connecting to remote locations, even when on the move, is present.
In another aspect, there is also provided a method for calculating a route proposal for a vehicle controlled by a driver comprising obtaining a geographical location, retrieving a route segment rating associated with a route segment corresponding to the geographical location, said route segment rating being arranged to be derivable at least partially from a measurement of physiological information in association with route segment data, and producing the route proposal based on the geographical location and said rating.
This method has the advantage the route may be selected taking the stress of driving a particular route into account, especially in trying to lower the stress level relative to that which might result from a route selected purely according to other parameters.
The method may further comprising measuring a physiological information with a sensor indicative of a condition of the driver and producing a result, identifying a route segment by the use of the geographical location, and storing route segment data for the route segment in association with the result, the associated route segment data and result forming a route segment rating.
Route segment ratings stored in this way can be available for future route calculations and may be more accurate than route segment ratings arrived at by other methods.
The method may further comprise the receiving results based on measurements of physiological information from a plurality of drivers, said results being associated with route segments so as to form a route segment rating. Such route segment ratings may be more accurate than those derived from assumptions based on things such as road-type.
In the method, the measuring of the physiological information may be performed by analyzing a sequence of video images captured using a camera. This has the advantage of being less intrusive than contact methods.
In another aspect, there is provided a computer software product configured to operate the above method. Such a product may be installed on an appropriately configured device to operate the method above and obtain the accompanying advantages.
In another aspect, there is provided a method of encoding map data in a data structure, wherein the map data is organized in route segments, the method comprising providing a stress rating field, configured to store at least one stress rating, for each route segment, the stress rating field being arranged to be updatable, and Storing a default stress rating in at least one of the stress rating fields.
The overall advantage of using such a method is to create a data store which can enable a navigation device equipped with the appropriate software to produce route proposals which take the stress of driving into account. Where the navigation device also has interfaces to physiological measurement equipment, the results from the physiological measurement equipment may be used to update the data in the data store.
The method may further comprise providing at least one driver information field, the driver information field being configured to be linkable to at least one route segment and being configured to be updatable, and providing at least one situation information field, the situation information field being configured to be linkable to at least one route segment and being configured to be updatable. In another aspect, there is provided a method of providing update information for a navigations system which comprises providing a data structure prepared according the method above. This allows for more accurate route segment ratings to be made available. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The above, as well as additional objects, features and advantages of the disclosed devices, systems and methods, will be better understood through the following illustrative and non-limiting detailed description of embodiments of devices and methods, with reference to the appended drawings, in which:
Fig 1 represents a system comprising an embodiment.
Fig 2 represents functional blocks of the system comprising an embodiment. Fig 3 represents a flow comprising a method according to an embodiment. Figs 4a and 4b represent data structures according to an embodiment.
Fig 5 represents a satellite navigation system comprising an embodiment. Fig 6 represents a cellular telephone comprising an embodiment.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
In the following description, same references designate like elements.
Fig. 1 represents a route selection system employing example of an embodiment of a route selection assistor, the route selection system interacting with a driver 1. A computation unit 2 (COMP) is configured to function as part of a route selection calculator. The computation unit 2 receives input from the driver 1 via an input device 3 (IPD). The input can be such things as journey information (for example journey end points, places to avoid), information concerning the driver (for example the driver's age, sex, weight and other physiological information) or information concerning the vehicle (for example make, model, engine size, fitness for off-road, presence of a trailer etc.) or information concerning the current conditions (weather, visibility). The computation unit 2 returns responses and information to the driver 1 via a display 4 (DIS). The responses and information can contain things like instructions concerning the selected route. The computation unit 2 is arranged to communicate bi-directionally with a data store 5 (DS) and may both read from and write to said data store 5. The data store 5 is arranged to contain information relating to route segments. The data store 5 also contains map data in a data structure in which the available routes are organized in such a way as to allow the identification of route segments. The data structure in the data store 5 is further configured to hold route segment ratings in locations which can be associated with each route segment. The route segment ratings are indicative of a stress level associated with driving on a given route segment.
The computation unit 2 has a first input 6 for receiving an information indicating a geographical location from a satellite navigation device 7. The computation unit 2 has a second input 8 arranged to receive an input from a physiological measurement unit 9. The physiological measurement unit 9 may comprise a sensor and is arranged to provide a physiological information from a measurement of a physiological characteristic such as a vital sign indicative of the condition of the driver. Alternatively, the physiological measurement unit and sensor may be housed seperately. By associating the physiological information with a geographical location, it may be used to calculate or derive a route segment rating.
The computation unit 2 is configured to store the information relating to the driver (driver information) in the data store 5. The driver information can be used in the calculation of the route segment rating. Also information concerning other factors that affect driving conditions, such as weather, time of day, time of year, the presence of road- works and, for night time, how light the night (situation information) is could also be used. For example, fast road segments could be weighted as more stressful when there is heavy rain. Factors such as weather and time of day may affect the driver and thus have a significant influence on the physiological information recorded. For instance, very bad weather could increase the level of stress recorded leading to an overly pessimistic rating for a given route segment. Therefore use of the situation information to give a weighting to the calculated route segment rating could be advantageous. The information concerning the vehicle (vehicle data) could be used advantageously to adjust the weighting for a route segment rating - for example for a large vehicle, a weighting could be applied as a multiplier of the stress ratings which would influence the route selection process.
The physiological information may be an indication of a stress level based on a physiological sign or indeed it might be the result of the physiological sign measurement itself. Examples of such a physiological sign are so-called 'vital signs' and could include heart rate, breathing rate and skin conductance. Other possibilities may exist such as eye motion, eye closure, head movements and muscle-tone.
For measuring heat rate or breathing rate, a video camera could be used, as is suggested by fig. 1. The camera could be configured to capture a series of video images from which physiological information can be extracted using photoplethysmography (PPG). This is a method for characterizing certain periodic physiological phenomena using skin reflectance variations. The human skin can be modeled as an object with at least two layers, one of those being the epidermis (a thin surface layer) and the other the dermis (a thicker layer underneath the epidermis). Approximately 5 % of an incoming ray of light is reflected in the epidermis, which is the case for all wavelengths and skin colors. The remaining light is scattered and absorbed within the two skin layers in a phenomenon known as body reflectance (described in the Dichromatic Reflection Model). The epidermis behaves like an optical filter, mainly absorbing light. In the dermis, light is both scattered and absorbed. The absorption is dependent on the blood composition, so that the absorption is sensitive to blood flow variations. The optical properties of the dermis are generally he same for all human races. The dermis contains a dense network of blood vessels, about 10 % of an adult's total vessel network. These vessels contract according of the blood flow in the body. They consequently change the structures of the dermis, which influences the reflectance of the skin layers. Consequently, the heart rate can be determined from skin reflectance variations.
It is possible to detect and extract signals which have some periodic content in these changes and from that obtain a result such as a frequency in the case of periodic processes. For example, a subject may be illuminated with light and filmed using a video camera. By analysing changes in the values of corresponding pixels between frames of the sequence of images, a time- variant signal can be extracted. This signal may be transformed into frequency-like domain using something like a Fast Fourier Transform and from the frequency-domain spectra, a value for the subject's heart-rate and/or respiration rate (rate of breathing) may be arrived at a physiological measurement or extracted physiological information.
For respiration rate, the parameter of interest would be the change in respiration rate This is because different individuals have different respiration rates and the resting respiration rate varies with age. This could be the value as compared to a 'low stress' or a reference situation, for instance shortly after the beginning of the journey and when an increase in respiration rate is seen, this can be taken as an indication of stress. Alternatively, the derivative of the respiration rate could be obtained in a periodic manner during the journey. Where it is positive, this can be taken as indicating an increase in stress levels. In both cases, the magnitude of the change could be used in the calculation of the stress rating.
The advantage offered by a camera is that it is less intrusive. In such a situation, where the camera is not in very close proximity to (for example almost touching) the subject, this is sometimes called remote-PPG. The physiological measurement unit 9 may be equiped with physiological information procesing unit which is configred to extract the physiological information from the images captured by the camera. Also, where there is a dashboard camera for monitoring the driver in other ways, this camera could be used for the purposes described herein also. An advantage of having the camera separate from the equipment in which is housed the route selection assistor is that different cameras could be used with different route selection assistors. Furthermore the signal analysis described above may be performed by equipment housed in the camera or in the route selection assistor.
Nevertheless contact sensors could be used to measure heart-rate even though they have the disadvantage of requiring additional operations.
For measuring skin conductance, a contact sensor is preferable. One possibility for such a sensor would be attaching it to the driver but this would either require an operation that many drivers would not want or for them to have yet another piece of equipment adapted for the purpose such as a watch. Another possibility would be to include it in part of the vehicle controls that the driver needs to touch often such as the steering wheel. It should be noted that such a contact sensor could also be used for measuring heart-rate though this might present difficulties since the driver will move their hands around the steering wheel in a frequent and hard-to-predict manner. The driver wearing gloves would also render such a sensor difficult to use.
Another physiological sign that is indicative of stress levels is the amount of sweating. It is possible to estimate this optically using a camera having a filter aligned to the absorption spectrum of water. Again, this would offer the advantages of being less intrusive and possibly being incorporated into equipment that is needed for another purpose. This method could also be implemented along with remote photoplethysmography.
It is possible to categorize facial expressions into simplified models of emotions and use image analysis software to do this. In general such software uses face recognition techniques (such as using Haar-features) to identify features on the face such as the eyes, including eyebrows, and mouth. These are then compared to reference models for classification. The skilled person will be able to find these and implement this. Since many of the problems such software encounters such as movement of the subject, position of the subjects and illumination are also those that beset the signal analysis for the PPG, the image processing to correct for them may be made common to both and so both techniques may be implemented on the same equipment in an efficient manner. Facial expressions indicating anger or displeasure could be taken as indicating an associated increase in stress level. This could then be used as confirmation of a stress-level measurement obtained by one of the other techniques.
Where multiple techniques for stress measurement are used, the value could be taken from one and then multiplied by constant values for each of the other techniques that give confirmation. Altternatively, the stess rating value could be calculated as a sum of the indivual values, mutiplied by at weighting factor which represents the accuracy of the technique in predicting stress. These values could be chosen using estimates derived from data from a large number of individuals though it could be advantageous to adapt the values of the weightings according to quality metrics obtained during the journey from each measurement method. Alternatively, personalised results for a given individual could be acquired by asking the driver at the end of the journey how stressful they found the route. Alternatively the system could take the maximum of different measurement results.. The computation unit 2 is arranged to use the map data from the data store 5 and journey information to select a route composed of route segments and propose this via the display 4 to the driver 1. The computation unit 2 is also arranged to use the geographical location to track the progress of the vehicle along the route and identify each route segment as the vehicle passes along that route segment. The computation unit 2 is configured to use route segment ratings present in the data store 5 as part of the selection of the route.
The advantage of having route segment ratings in the data store 5 and using them to calculate route proposals is that the route may be selected taking the stress of driving a particular route into account, especially in trying to lower the stress level relative to that which might result from a route selected purely according to other parameters.
The advantage of the computation unit 2 being able to write route segment ratings to the data store 5 is that they may be updated with more accurate information as can be seen below.
The computation unit 2 is configured to use physiological information received at its second input 8 in association with the current route segment as indicated by the geographical information to form a route segment rating which it stores in the appropriate location in the date store 5. Route segment ratings stored in this way will be available for future route calculations.
The actual level of stress or fatigue induced by a particular route segment may vary between individuals. For example some people are more comfortable with long distance driving on fast roads whereas others prefer driving in cities. Where route selection assistor creates the route segment rating, the route segment rating will be based on responses actually recorded from the driver. Personalizing the route segment rating has the advantage of being more attuned to the needs of the driver than using a generalized model or assumptions about which types of route segment are more or less stressful.
The inclusion of a driver identification in the route segment rating and provision in the data store 5 for the storage of multiple ratings for each segment would offer the advantage of allowing the use of different ratings for different drivers. Recalling stored information relating to the driver would be advantageous for this because it would save reentering the information repeatedly.
The identification of the current driver could be achieved by having the driver use the input device 3 to enter their identification. Where camera is being used as the sensor, identifying the driver from the images captured by the camera offers the advantage of saving the driver from having to enter their identity via the input device 3 which would also help reduce errors. A convenient way of implementing this would be for the driver to perform a set-up routine whereby the camera produces an identification which the driver causes to be associated with themselves be entering commands either via the input device 3 or into the camera itself. In the second case the camera should be equipped with control, input and storage devices.
The computational unit 2 is configured to use route segment ratings present in the data store 5 as part of the process of selecting a route. Route segment ratings may not be available for every segment, for example, there may be route segments which have not been previously travelled. Where the route segment rating is available, the computation unit 2 may use that route segment rating in calculating a proposal for a route. To avoid the situation where route segment ratings are not available, default route segment ratings for all the route segments could be provided when the data structure in the data store 5 is initially populated. These default route segment ratings could be based on factors relating to the route segment itself such as road type, speed limit, degree of straightness.
The computation unit 2 may also use the physiological information it is receiving at the second input to produce a proposal for changing the remaining route when the physiological information passes outside limits that have been set previously or it may adapt the route proposal because it is able to find a route which has a lower predicted stress level. A possible way of calculating such limits is to base them on route segment ratings present in the data store 5.
The computation unit 2 may be configured to use the driver information, situation information and vehicle information and time a route stress factor was assigned and car environment and number of car passengers as weighting factors to be applied to the retrieved route segment rating when calculating the route. An example of this could be to weight city-centre segments as more stressful for older drivers.
As an alternative to using previously stored route segment ratings calculated from physiological information recorded by the sensor in the vehicle, physiological information collected from a large number of individuals could be used. Route segment ratings could be compiled from these at another location (called hereafter "remote segment ratings") from the route selection assistor according to an embodiment, and stored on something like a data server. The remote route segment ratings could be downloaded into the data store of the route selection assistor either at a computer with an internet connection or via a wireless data link from on-line remote storage. Wireless data link is taken to include cellular networks. The advantage of the wireless data link is that more up-to-date data could be downloaded. Furthermore, route segment ratings could also be uploaded to the remote location so as to improve the remote segment ratings.
A particularly advantageous way of using route segment ratings compiled from other drivers would be to group them by similarity of the driver from which they were compiled. Thus route segment ratings from drivers similar to the driver of the vehicle could be selected and downloaded. This could provide ratings closer to those that the driver actually in the vehicle (actual driver) would produce. Such a similarity may be established on the basis of driver characteristics such as age and sex. Another way of establishing similarity could be by making a comparison of route segment ratings previously obtained for the actual driver to route segment ratings for corresponding route segments in the remote route segment ratings. Both methods could be combined.
Another possibility concerning the route segment ratings obtained from the driver of the vehicle could be to transfer the physiological information and the route to another location. This could be done via the wireless data link, for example. The calculation of the route segment rating could be done at the other location and then transferred back to the navigation system. This could fit in well with the calculation of the remote route segment ratings.
Fig 2 represents a navigation system comprising a route selection assistor according to an embodiment. A processing unit (GC) 20 is coupled to an input device (IPD) 3 and a display (DIS) 4. The processing unit 20 is also coupled to a data store 5. The data store is configured to store map data and route segment ratings. The data store 5 may be implemented as one single data store or multiple data stores, each configured to store different parts of the data. The processing unit 20 is further coupled to rating calculator (RC) 21, a satellite navigation receiver (SR) 22 and a wireless radio (WLS) 24. The rating calculator 21 is coupled to a physiological measurement unit (SENS) 23 and the data store 5. The processing unit 20 and the rating calculator 21 may be implemented as separate hardware units or as functions running on a single piece of hardware. The physiological measurement unit 23 comprises a sensor arranged to measure a physiological parameter such as a physiological sign indicative of the state of the driver.
The processing unit 20 receives input and commands from the driver (not shown) via the input device 3 and displays route information and other messages to the driver via the display 4. The input from the driver may also include driver information, information concerning the car, such as make, model, engine size (vehicle information) and situation information.
The satellite navigation receiver 22 is configured to receive signals from global navigation satellites such as the GPS, GLONASS or GALLILEO systems and provide input to the processing unit 20. The process of converting the received satellite signals to geographical coordinates may be shared or not between the satellite navigation receiver 22 and the processing unit 20. Thus the satellite navigation receiver 22 performs the function of a satellite navigation device, alone or in cooperation with the processing unit 20.
The rating calculator 21 receives input of physiological information from the physiological measurement unit 23. The rating calculator 21 is configured to use route data retrieved from the data store 5 and the physiological information to calculate route segment ratings for the applicable route segments. The determination of which the applicable route segments are may be made either by the processing unit 20 or by the rating calculator 21 using information obtained from the processing unit 20. The rating calculator 21 is configured to store the route segment ratings in the data store 5. The rating calculator 21 may use a combination of the physiological information and one or more the driver information, situation information to calculate the route segment rating.
The processing unit 20 is also coupled to a wireless radio 24 that provides a bidirectional wireless data link. The wireless radio 24 may be used by the processing unit 20 and rating calculator 21 to download route segment ratings from a remote location and to upload route segment ratings to that remote location. The wireless radio may be implemented in one or more standards such as a cellular telephone modem or a wireless LAN transmitter- receiver. Using a cellular telephone modem has the advantage that ratings could be uploaded or downloaded in areas remote from wireless LAN or fixed networks.
Various configurations of the navigation system of Fig. 2 are possible. For example, all the elements may be located in a single housing. Alternatively one or more of the elements such as the physiological measurement unit 23, the wireless radio 24 or the satellite navigation receiver 22 may be located outside the housing.
Fig 3 represents an example of a flow comprising a method according to an embodiment. At step s30, journey parameters (JP, such as the destination, waypoints). Also parameters (DP) relating to the driver (such as sex and age) and to the vehicle (type, model etc.) may be entered. At step s31 (LOC) the geographical location is measured and provided to the computation unit 2. At step s32 (RET), a route proposal is produced using the map data, requirements based on the journey parameters, and the measured geographical location. Also at step s32, route segment ratings retrieved from data store 5 according to the measured geographical location and the various route segments considered are used in the calculation of the route. An optional step s32a (DLD) of downloading route segment ratings from a remote location may also be performed. At step s33 (CALC), these route segment ratings are used by the computation unit 2 along with the other parameters and the map data, to select and so produce the route proposal.
Optional step s32a can be made either before the journey, for instance by connection to an internet-connected computer, or during the journey via a radio data link. At step s34 (VSMEAS), measurements of one or more physiological characteristics of the driver are made and the resulting physiological information is provided to step35 (MON) of monitoring of the driver. At step s36 (STORE), a route segment rating is calculated for the current route segment and stored in the data store 5.
The route segment ratings in the store may have been derived from data known about the route (for example city-centre location, straightness, highway etc.), from data aggregated from a number of drivers (for example from physiological measurements aggregated and anonymized) or from previously measured physiological information from the physiological measurement unit 9. Thus a route segment rating may be derived at least partially from physiological information.
At step s37, a check is made whether or not the journey is completed. If not the flow then returns to step s32 of measuring the geographical location. The current geographical location, as measured, is used to track the progress along the route. The current geographical location is also used to identify the applicable route segment for storage of the route segment rating. At step s33, the route is again checked for conformity to the requirements which include the route segment rating. This can be for example checking that the physiological information currently being recorded does or does not indicate that recalculating a route proposal should be performed, taking into account the physiological information and any applicable route segment ratings. Or, where the system continuously assesses the stress ratings for various route alternatives, calculating, with the physiological information being collected, a lower stress route. Also, the route segment rating that can be derived from the physiological information may be compared to route segment ratings retrieved from the data store 5. Any discrepancy can be used to trigger an alert to the driver.
This has the advantage of allowing for real-time measurements of the state of the driver to be taken into account for updating the route. For example, traffic conditions such as a local rush-hour, on the present route may be comparatively more stressful for the driver than a previously stored rating would indicate. The system could then Override' the previous calculation and propose a new route. Furthermore a decision could be made to update the route segment rating in the data store, particularly where the route segments rating in the data store is seen to be older than a chosen timespan.
When the journey is completed, the flow terminates at step s38 (END). At this point, route segment ratings have been accumulated for the route travelled. This is advantageous in that these will be available for when those route segments are used in the future without the rating needing to be established at the time of the map creation.
Furthermore, the route segment ratings may be created in a way personal to the driver and, where the data store allows, stored as linked to the identity of that driver.
Another way of using the measurements received from the physiological measurement unit 9 could be to compare the physiological information produced to the existing route segment ratings for the current route segment. Where there is a large discrepancy, the computation unit 2 could take a number of actions such as to modify the route or to warn the driver and ask for instructions. This could be in addition to updating the data in the data store 5.
Figs 4a and 4b represent a data structure according to an embodiment. A simple data structure 40a can be visualized as a table organized into rows 41, each row 41 being allocated to a route segment and columns 42a, 42b, 42c and 42d. The columns 42a, 42b, 42c and 42d are respectively allocated to route segment ratings, driver information, situation information and vehicle information. Thus for each route segment, at least one value each of route segment rating, driver information, situation information and vehicle information may be stored. There may be other locations in the data structure for other things pertaining to each route segment like length, speed limit, road type and other characteristics. The locations for the route segment ratings, driver information, situation information and vehicle information may be written into as well as read by the computation unit 2. If so desired the locations for route segment ratings, driver information, situation information and vehicle information could be subdivided so as to be able to contain multiple values for each parameter. This would give the advantage that different route segment ratings could be retrieved according the current values of the driver, car or situation information. One approach for this could simply be to reproduce the column 42a as many times as needed. The values in columns 42c, 42c and 42d could be used as indexes or pointers to select the desired route segment rating. This would have the advantage of making the calculations operations simple and therefore quick however the resulting data structure would be large.
The computation 2 can be perform the selection of the route by executing an iterative routine where it adds up, for each potential route, the route segment parameters being considered and compares the result to other potential routes. The addition may be a simple arithmetic addition or a more complex summation, for example root sum of squares. It then selects the lowest or highest result, depending on the parameter. It may continue this until it has exhausted all the possibilities or until another criterion for terminating the routine has been satisfied. The route segment ratings could be used in this way to select a 'lower stress' route i.e. lower than would otherwise be the case. Another possibility is that they could be used together with another parameter such as time where one parameter is used to weight the other. This would have the effect of changing the result of the comparison between potential routes.
Fig 4b shows alternative data structure 40b. A first table 43 is arranged in rows 41 with one row for each route segment and contains a route segment rating in each row. The driver, situation and vehicle information are stored in tables 44, 45 and 46 respectively. The locations in tables 44, 45 and 46 may be linked to the rows of the first table 43 such that when the computation unit 2 retrieves the information in table 43, it is also able to associate information from one or more of tables 44, 45 and 46. The data structure is arranged so that multiple rows in table 43 may be linked to a single row in any of tables 44, 45 and 46. Since there will be fewer locations required for driver, situation and vehicle information, the resulting data structure can be made smaller. One way of using the data structure 40b could be to store numerical values of the stress level in the route segment rating locations and use the values in tables 44, 45 and 46 and weighting factors to be applied to the route segment rating when the calculation of the route is being performed. This structure is more compact than that of fig4a but only requires that the computation 2 perform calculations of the actual rating whilst calculating the route.
A way of saving space could be store integer values in the locations in the tables, particularly table 43. These integer values could then designate quantized values of the route segment ratings. Integers occupy less space than floating point values and this would also open the opportunity to storing multiple route segment ratings in one row by designating individual bits for each of the multiple route segment ratings stored in that location (effectively adding columns, each for a different rating). The values in tables 44, 45 and 46 could similarly be pointers which designate which of the multiple route segment ratings for the row to which they are linked applies. Further tables would be required to provide the correspondence between these integer values and information they represent. This would have the advantage of speed of calculation and allow more combinations of route segment rating, driver, car and situation but would be at the expense of numerical accuracy. A hybrid of calculation by weighting and multiple ratings per route segment is also possible.
The overall advantage of such a data store is to enable a navigation device equipped with the appropriate software to produce route proposals which take the stress of driving into account. Where the navigation device also has interfaces to physiological measurement equipment, the results from the physiological measurement equipment may be used to update the data in the data store.
Fig. 5 represents a traditional satellite navigation system augmented with the functions of the ratings calculator 21 and the storage of the route segment ratings according to an embodiment. The system 50 comprises with an input (SENS IP) 8 arranged to be coupled to a physiological measurement unit and an input (WLS IP) 51 arranged to be coupled to a wireless radio 24 which may be located in a cell phone or other suitable arrangement. The system 50 further comprises a computation unit (COMP) 2, a combined input-display (IP-DIS) 52, a data store (DS) 5 and a satellite navigation device (SAT) 7. The input 51 may be a physical cable input or a wireless data link arranged to connect to a similarly equipped cellular phone. The input-display may be a combined device such as a touch-screen or have a dedicated screen part and a dedicated input part such as a keypad.
A particular advantage of this arrangement are that where a driver-facing dashboard camera is present, it may be used as the physiological measurement unit, saving the need for an additional one in the satellite navigation system. A variation of this arrangement has the input 51 replaced by cellular telephone modem (WLS) 53. This has the advantage of removing the need for a cellular phone.
Fig 6 represents mobile telephone 60 equipped with satellite navigation system and a camera facing the same direction as the input and display devices of the phone. The mobile telephone 60 comprises a computation unit 2, a data store 5, an input-display 52, a satellite navigation device 7 and a cellular telephone modem 53. The mobile telephone 60 further comprises a camera 61, arranged to face the driver and equipped to measure a physiological characteristic.
The function of the computation unit 2 and data store 5 may be provided by the processing units and storage provided in the telephone for other purposes.
This has the advantage of making the sharing and coordinating of the various tasks and processing easier. Another advantage of this arrangement is that the hardware for connecting to remote locations, even when on the move, is present.
The flow an operations described above in relation to fig, 3 may be
implemented in software. The tasks of the software may be performed wholly by a central processor which also manages the other functions of the system as well as providing the functions of the computation unit 2. Alternatively they may be distributed between different processing units.
The software may be implemented as a software package that can be installed on an existing equipment. This could be the case for an application (or "app"), configured for installation on a camera-enabled cellular telephone. In all cases the software would be stored on some medium readable by the relevant hardware of the system.
In the foregoing, the term 'stress' is used in a general sense and so encompasses general metal states concerning relaxation and associated alertness levels.
The computation and processing unit(s) may be implemented with general purpose microprocessors or microcontrollers, in which case many of the functions will be implemented in software. Alternatively it could be implemented, to a greater or lesser degree, in dedicated logic.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned embodiments illustrate rather than limit the invention, and that those skilled in the art will be able to design many alternative embodiments without departing from the scope of the appended claims.
In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. Use of the verb "comprise" and its conjugations does not exclude the presence of elements or steps other than those stated in a claim. The article "a" or "an" preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements. The invention may be implemented by means of hardware comprising several distinct elements, and by means of a suitably programmed computer or processing unit. In the device claim enumerating several means, several of these means may be embodied by one and the same item of hardware. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to advantage.
Aspects of the invention may be implemented in a computer program product, which may be a collection of computer program instructions stored on a computer readable storage device which may be executed by a computer. The instructions of the present invention may be in any interpretable or executable code mechanism, including but not limited to scripts, interpretable programs, dynamic link libraries (DLLs) or Java classes. The instructions can be provided as complete executable programs, partial executable programs, as modifications to existing programs (e.g. updates) or extensions for existing programs (e.g. plugins). Moreover, parts of the processing of the present invention may be distributed over multiple computers or processors.
Storage media suitable for storing computer program instructions include all forms of nonvolatile memory, including but not limited to EPROM, EEPROM and flash memory devices, magnetic disks such as the internal and external hard disk drives, removable disks and optical disks. The computer program product may be distributed on such a storage medium, or may be offered for download through any appropriate method such as HTTP, FTP, email or through a server connected to a network such as the Internet.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A route selection assistor for a vehicle controlled by a driver comprising:
a first input (6) configured to receive a geographical location; a second input (8) configured to receive a physiological information indicative of the condition of the driver from a physiological measurement unit (9), said physiological information being obtained using at least one of remote photoplethysmography, an optical measurement of sweating, an optical measurement of respiration rate;- a data store (5) configured to store and retrieve a route segment rating, the route segment rating being configured to be derivable at least partially from physiological information associated with route segment data for a route segment corresponding to the geographical location, and - a route selector (2) configured to select a route based on the geographical location and the route segment rating.
2. The route selection assistor of claim 1 wherein the physiological measurement unit comprises a camera configured to capture a plurality of video images.
3. The route selection assistor of claim 1 further comprising a phyioslogical measurement unit (9) configured to obtain physiological information from a sequence of video images.
4. The route selection assistor of claim 2 further configured to identify the driver from the plurality of video images.
5. The route selection assistor of any preceding claim further configured to receive vehicle data and/or situation data, the route selection assistor being configured to store the vehicle data and/or situation data and select the route using the vehicle data and/or situation data.
6. The route selection assistor of any preceding claim configured so that the route segment rating is based on a previously stored physiological information obtained from the physiological measurement unit.
7. The route selection assistor any of claims 1 to 5 wherein the route segment rating is based on physiological measurements obtained from a plurality of drivers.
8. The route selection assistor of claim 7 comprising a wireless transceiver and wherein at least part of the physiological information is stored on on-line remote storage.
9. A navigation system (50) comprising a satellite navigation device (7) configured to provide a geographical location, and a route selection assistor according any of the preceding claims.
10. A method for calculating a route proposal for a vehicle controlled by a driver comprising:
obtaining a geographical location;
retrieving a route segment rating associated with a route segment corresponding to the geographical location, said route segment rating being arranged to be derivable at least partially from a measurement of physiological information in association with route segment data, said physiological information being obtained using at least one of remote photoplethysmography, an optical measurement of sweating, respiration rate and facial expression recognition;
and
- producing the route proposal based on the geographical location and said rating.
11. The method of claim 10 further comprising:
measuring a physiological information with a sensor indicative of a condition of the driver and producing a result;
identifying a route segment by the use of the geographical location, and storing route segment data for the route segment in association with the result, the associated route segment data and result forming a route segment rating.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising:
receiving results based on measurements of physiological information from a plurality of drivers, said results being associated with route segments so as to form a route segment rating.
13. The method of any of claims 10 to 12 wherein the measuring of the physiological information is performed by analyzing a sequence of video images captured using a camera.
14. A computer software product configured to operate the method of any of claims 10 to 13.
PCT/EP2016/079505 2015-12-02 2016-12-01 Route selection for lowering stress for drivers WO2017093440A1 (en)

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