What is a Driver Monitoring System & How Does it Work?

What is a Driver Monitoring System

Driver monitoring systems with fleet management software is a multi-faceted procedure to protect your fleet and drivers. Here’s the working of efficient driver monitoring systems.

Your fleet is like a finely tuned machine, and the drivers are the engine. But just like any other engine, you drivers too need careful monitoring to avoid breakdowns and ensure optimal performance.

To ensure your drivers are operating vehicles safely and soundly, you need software that can help keep surveillance over their in-cabin activities. Wondering which solution can let you know the in-cain activities of your driver? Well, that’s DMS aka driver monitoring systems. Driver monitoring systems act as a diagnostic tool that helps spot driving behavior that is risky and could possibly lead to traffic violations and accidents.

In this piece of writing, we’ll explore how these systems work and how they can benefit your fleet operations.

What is a Driver Monitoring System?

A driver monitoring system (DMS) is a safety feature in vehicles designed to monitor your driver’s behavior while driving. The system typically utilizes various sensors and cameras placed within the vehicle to track the eye movements of the driver, head position, facial expressions, and more indicators of attentiveness.

The technology helps detect signs of driver fatigue, drowsiness, and distraction. It issues alerts to the driver and triggers other safety interventions to mitigate accidents. The primary aim of the driver monitoring system is to promote driver awareness and reduce the risk of accidents caused by inattentiveness.

In simple words, DMS helps capture the in-cabin activities of the drivers, and whenever an event of inattentiveness or drowsiness takes place, the system shoots alerts. The same is continuously recorded via a dashcam and is visible to fleet managers in real-time.

Here are some of the common events that driver monitoring systems help detect:

  • Facial Recognition
  • Eye Tracking
  • Drowsiness Detection
  • Customizable Alerts
Story Time!

The IPL season is all around the corner, Raju who is a fleet driver works for XYZ Logistics. This Sunday morning while driving, his eyes were glued to his phone. He was texting his friend about next week’s cricket match, his fingers were moving across the screen. A loud BEEP jolted him back to reality. He suddenly lost control of the truck and swerved to the curb.

A small camera above the dashboard had detected his inattentiveness and unfocused gaze. The sudden ringing was a spontaneous warning for him to pay attention to the road again. Raju glanced at the steering and continued driving carefully.

Wonder what if there was no beep, Raju could meet with an accident. All thanks to DMS that Raju brought back his attention and drove carefully.

That is the power of this emerging technology, DMS.

How Does a Driver Monitoring System Work?

Typically a driver monitoring system works through a combination of sensors, cameras, and advanced algorithms to monitor the driver’s behavior and his attentiveness. Let’s look into the working of DMS-

1. Installation of Sensors and Cameras

The DMS utilizes AI-powered sensors and cameras strategically placed within the vehicle to record and monitor the driver’s actions, body language, or facial features.

2. Data Collection

With the help of capacitive sensors and hyperspectral cameras, the data is continuously collected including eye movements, head position, facial expressions, and alerts of inattentiveness.

3. Analysis and Processing of Driver Behavior

The data is collected and processed in real-time or near-real-time by the onboard computer systems equipped with advanced algorithms. Moreover, the visual data collected by dashcams helps in detecting inefficient driving patterns and prevents mishappening by triggering an alert.

4. Detection of Drowsiness or Inattentive Driving

The algorithms are designed to detect signs that the driver is drowsy, tired, distracted, or anxious. This may include observing slow and uneven eye movements, unconscious prolonged blinking, changes in head position, or other behaviors that indicate the fatigue or inattentiveness of the driver.

5. Alerts and Warnings

In case the system detects that the driver’s attention is waning or if there is a risk of drowsiness or distraction, it issues alerts or warnings to prompt the driver to refocus on the road.

The overall goal of the driver monitoring system is to enhance road safety by promoting driver attentiveness. All in all, it reduces the risk of accidents caused by fatigue or distraction by providing real-time alerts.

Spot When Your Drivers are Drowsy or Distracted with TrackoBit’s Camera-based Driver Monitoring System

Video Telematics

As we all know, the driver monitoring system is the heart and soul of video telematics. Video telematics is bifurcated into two branches – DMS & ADAS, where DMS stands for Driver Monitoring System and ADAS stands for Advanced Assistance Systems. DMS helps in capturing the in-cabin activities of the drivers and ADAS helps in monitoring the surrounding movements on the road.

The software understands behavioural patterns or events. Such events can be classified as smoking, yawning, being distracted, and more. The dashcams are smart enough to capture such events and shoot alerts accordingly.

ADAS takes it a step further by capturing the movements in the surrounding environment and issuing alerts when it detects an event. This technology comes in handy with insurance claim resolution, driver training, and enhancing safety measures.

How Big is the Market for Driver Monitoring Systems?

The market for driver monitoring systems has been experiencing significant growth in recent years, driven by various factors

1) Increasing Emphasis on Road Safety

As we all know accidents have been one of the major drawbacks of not equipping a DMS system. Government and regulatory bodies worldwide are placing greater emphasis on the safety of roads. By adopting technologies like DMS, a significant decline in accidents can be seen which often is caused by driver distraction, fatigue, and more cautious events.

🔎 According to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020, roughly 1.35 million people die each year as a result of accidents.

2) Rising Concerns About Distracted Driving

With the proliferation of smartphones and other digital devices, distracted driving has been a major concern. DMS helps mitigate this risk by monitoring driver attentiveness and issuing alerts when necessary.

3) Consumer Awareness and Demand

Increasing consumer awareness of the importance of road safety and the availability of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like DMS are driving demand among vehicle users.

Overall, the market for Driver Monitoring Systems is expected to continue growing as automakers, regulatory bodies, and consumers increasingly prioritize safety on the roads.  Market research reports suggest a robust growth trajectory for DMS in the coming years, with significant opportunities for telematics solutions manufacturers and service providers in this space.

🔎Let’s have a look into some statistics  –

  • The DMS market is expected to reach an average CAGR of 7.5.
  • The market is expected to reach a revenue of US$ 4.5 billion in 2023, with projections indicating that it will surpass US$ 9.3 billion by 2033.


Driver Monitoring Systems and Driver Behavior Monitoring – What’s the Difference?

We all at some other point often get confused between driver monitoring systems and driver behavior monitoring. These two similar terms might sound similar but they are not. The table below describes how these two terms are different.

          Basis Driver Monitoring                Systems Driver Behavior Monitoring
  • Focus
  • DMS majorly focuses on monitoring real-time behavior and attentiveness of the driver while operating the vehicle.
  • It employs sensors and cameras to track the in-cabin activities of the drivers like their eye movements, head position, and more
  • Driver behavior monitoring has a broader scope as it includes not only real-time driver behavior but also analyzing driving patterns and habits over time.
  • It involves collecting data on driving behaviors such as speeding, harsh acceleration or braking, lane deviations, and adherence to traffic rules.
  • Technologies Used 
  • Talking about Driver monitoring systems. They typically rely on sensors, cameras, and advanced algorithms to monitor driver behavior in real time.
  • This phenomenon is completely dependent on video telematics.
  • Whereas when we talk about driver behavior monitoring systems, the system relies on onboard vehicle sensors to collect data on driving behavior and vehicle performance. This data can include locational data, vehicle speed, acceleration, braking, and steering inputs.
  • Purpose 
  • The primary purpose of DSM is to enhance drivers’ safety by alerting them whenever they are drowsy, look fatigued, and are losing control of the steering.  This helps reduce the risks of accidents.
  • DBM serves multiple purposes, including assessing driver risk profiles, identifying areas for driver training or improvement, optimizing fleet management, and providing feedback to drivers or fleet managers to promote safer driving habits.

Final Words

To wrap it all up, driver monitoring systems play a crucial role in keeping a constant eye on your driver’s in-cabin activities. The demands for driver monitoring continuously trend to grow in the coming times.

Estimates from various market research reports suggested that the global market size for driver monitoring systems was projected to reach several billion dollars by the mid-2020s. Factors such as the integration of DMS into advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), the rise of autonomous vehicles, and the increasing adoption of DMS in commercial vehicles were expected to drive this growth.

Well, do you want to know how carefully your drivers are driving your valuable fleet? If so, then get your hands on TrackoBit’s video telematics solutions to stay up-to-date with the actions of your drivers.

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What is a Driver Monitoring System & How Does it Work?

Anvesha Pandey

Anvesha is a blooming content writer at TrackoBit. She is a Gen-Z working with a team full of millennials. Reading books is her hobby (her collection of books says it all). She prefers living in the world of Jane Austin. When not reading, you'll find her eating KitKat, brainstorming on social issues, and listening to podcasts.

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