Head motion coefficient-based algorithm for distracted driving detection

Kwok Tai Chui, Wadee Alhalabi, Ryan Wen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Concentration is the key to safer driving. Ideally, drivers should focus mainly on front views and side mirrors. Typical distractions are eating, drinking, cell phone use, using and searching things in car as well as looking at something outside the car. In this paper, distracted driving detection algorithm is targeting on nine scenarios nodding, head shaking, moving the head 45° to upper left and back to position, moving the head 45° to lower left and back to position, moving the head 45° to upper right and back to position, moving the head 45° to lower right and back to position, moving the head upward and back to position, head dropping down and blinking as fundamental elements for distracted events. The purpose of this paper is preliminary study these scenarios for the ideal distraction detection, the exact type of distraction. Design/methodology/approach: The system consists of distraction detection module that processes video stream and compute motion coefficient to reinforce identification of distraction conditions of drivers. Motion coefficient of the video frames is computed which follows by the spike detection via statistical filtering. Findings: The accuracy of head motion analyzer is given as 98.6 percent. With such satisfactory result, it is concluded that the distraction detection using light computation power algorithm is an appropriate direction and further work could be devoted on more scenarios as well as background light intensity and resolution of video frames. Originality/value: The system aimed at detecting the distraction of the public transport driver. By providing instant response and timely warning, it can lower the road traffic accidents and casualties due to poor physical conditions. A low latency and lightweight head motion detector has been developed for online driver awareness monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-188
Number of pages18
JournalData Technologies and Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Correlation analysis
  • Distracted driving
  • Head motion
  • Public transport
  • Road safety
  • Social good


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