According to Korean producer of automotive parts Hyundai Mobis, each year around 7,000 North American traffic fatalities are caused by drivers ceasing control of a vehicle. Looking to limit the damage, it is working on an autonomous system that would recognize when a driver is no longer in control and guide the car to safety.

Mobis' Departed Driver Rescue and Exit Maneuver (DDREM) system is meant for use when drivers can no longer control a vehicle. This may occur as a result of them falling asleep, having a heart attack, or otherwise becoming incapacitated behind the wheel.

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DDREM would then mitigate the risk of crash by taking control of the vehicle and guiding it to safety off the roadway. The goal is to prevent health conditions or emergencies from causing serious accidents, which often lead to fatalities for the driver, passengers, and those in other vehicles.

Mobis says that DDREM is meant to be a background safety system, similar to stability control and traction control systems. The level four autonomous technology would only activate when required during a critical situation. Mobis says that it hopes the technology can prevent more than 90 percent of departed-driver crashes, and that it would cost less to install than full-service autonomous systems.

The company says that it is focusing its autonomous vehicle technologies on safety systems, rather than on fully self-piloted systems, in order to get them to market faster. Mobis says that the reduced complexities of these safety systems, as well as their ease of implementation and regulation, will mean faster adoption. Mobis is collaborating with key North American government agencies for that purpose.

DDREM is currently in its advanced research phase, the company says, and it is in talks for collaboration agreements with a global automaker that has not yet been named.

Source: Hyundai Mobis