Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 309578, 12 pages
Research Article

On-Road Driver Monitoring System Based on a Solar-Powered In-Vehicle Embedded Platform

1Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
2Department of Energy and Refrigerating Air-Conditioning Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
3Department of Electrical Engineering, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan

Received 16 May 2014; Accepted 16 June 2014; Published 3 July 2014

Academic Editor: Ching-Song Jwo

Copyright © 2014 Yen-Lin Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study presents an on-road driver monitoring system, which is implemented on a stand-alone in-vehicle embedded system and driven by effective solar cells. The driver monitoring function is performed by an efficient eye detection technique. Through the driver’s eye movements captured from the camera, the attention states of the driver can be determined and any fatigue states can be avoided. This driver monitoring technique is implemented on a low-power embedded in-vehicle platform. Besides, this study also proposed monitoring machinery that can detect the brightness around the car to effectively determine whether this in-vehicle system is driven by the solar cells or by the vehicle battery. On sunny days, the in-vehicle system can be powered by solar cell in places without the vehicle battery. While in the evenings or on rainy days, the ambient solar brightness is insufficient, and the system is powered by the vehicle battery. The proposed system was tested under the conditions that the solar irradiance is 10 to 113 W/m2 and solar energy and brightness at 10 to 170. From the testing results, when the outside solar radiation is high, the brightness of the inside of the car is increased, and the eye detection accuracy can also increase as well. Therefore, this solar powered driver monitoring system can be efficiently applied to electric cars to save energy consumption and promote the driving safety.