DRAMA – a new project within Road user behavior research area

We are pleased to announce that SAFER’s project portfolio is further strengthened. This time, it's a project that will develop methods for supervising the driver and passengers in the car to give them the best possible support in different situations.

The project’s name is Driver and passenger Activity MaApping (DRAMA). In DRAMA a prototype system for real-time, automatic mapping of activities and states will be developed. For example, body posture, face expression and activities in the car - for all persons in the vehicle - using multiple camera sensors, will be used. With more information about its driver and passengers, a vehicle can adapt its behaviour and character to increase safety and comfort.

We expect to find methods/algorithms/tools that can be used to map driver body posture/facial expressions etc. and to combine them in models that can describe the driver behaviour/activity. The project will also perform research and implement a concept for a camera-based data acquisition system to be able to capture the behaviour.

“This is a fantastic project. We use already existing technology to study driver's eye movements to a nearby area. Together, we think one step further, just as SAFER's cooperation between partners should work”, says Tania Willstrand, Research area director for Road user behaviour.

SAFER's Research Area Director is positive about the usage of the eye-movement camera in this new associated project.

Tania continues:
“It is not only a partnership between SAFER partners, but this project also allows for a very nice collaboration between our research groups. What we can detect using the method will instantly optimize the protection principles we develop in our Human Body Protection research area.”

With correct classifications of what the driver is doing, the human-machine interaction can be directed to the most suitable modality (visual/audio/haptic) at each moment. If the car knows the full body position (sitting, lying, twisted to the back-seat, leaning to the side, etc) of its passengers, the safety functions can be adapted to the in-the-moment best deployment of for example airbags, steering, brake and crash avoidance patterns. The decision if the vehicle can do a hand- over, or should perform a safe stop can be determined based on in-vehicle activity and driver attention/disengagement in the driving task.

SAFER’s role in the project, which is associated, is to interconnect researchers in the DRAMA project with people in related projects within the SAFER network of researchers.  By using this type of information e.g. in an automated vehicle, the vehicle could adapt its interaction (and driving) for improved safety and comfort, for example in selecting the appropriate modality for alerting passengers.

The project partners are RISE Viktoria and SmartEye and is financed by Vinnova FFI and runs between March 1st, 2018 and February 29th 2020.

Safer – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

SAFER is the open innovation arena where researchers and expertise work together to create safe mobility. Our traffic safety approach covers people, vehicles and the infrastructure – and together we contribute to safer road transports and smarter, more sustainable cities.

Contact information


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 safer [at] chalmers.se