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Florida Poly students create technology to reduce distracted, drowsy driving

The app would alert drivers if they're distracted
Posted at 4:29 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2019-06-18 16:28:39-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — Two Florida Polytechnic University students are trying to reduce distracted and drowsy driving. They created technology that could be used in a phone app someday. 

Lina Brihoum and Eliezer Pla created this technology as part of a project for a class called "Digital Forensics." 

The class is under the leadership of Dr. Kanwal Gagneja, assistant professor of computer science. 

A camera would detect a driver's eyes. It would then determine if the driver is closing them or if they are distracted.

"A certain percentage of eye closure ratio determines that the person might be falling asleep at the wheel. And if the driver constantly hits the threshold, the system would buzz them to keep them awake," said Eliezer Pla, a computer science senior. 

The Florida Highway Patrol said more than 4,000 crashes happened in Florida due to drowsy driving in 2017.  

In Polk County, there were 28 crashes due to drowsy driving, last year. 

These two students hope to reduce the number of crashes.

"It is a big deal. People are sleep driving, I guess you could say, but it's more than just drowsiness. It's more of the texting and driving and just distracted in general. I feel like if more people are aware that they do this, I think it would help," said student Lina Brihoum.