Driver monitoring systems (DMS): The future of impaired driving management?

A.C. Hayley*, B. Shiferaw, B. Aitken, F. Vinckenbosch, T.L. Brown, L.A. Downey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


ObjectiveDriver monitoring systems (DMS) are the next generation of vehicle safety technology. Broadly, these refer to the embedded, aftermarket wearable or vehicle-mounted devices that collect observable information about the operator to make real-time assessment of their capacity to perform the driving task. Integrating biobehavioral monitoring (primarily ocular metrics) with driving performance assessments, these systems function to infer driver state in real time to identify operator conditions that negatively affect driving (such as fatigue, inattention, or distraction).MethodWe review available methods used to infer driver state, as referenced against accepted models for optimal performance. Modeling our observations on deviation from predetermined performance thresholds used to trigger graded safety alerts, we suggest that many psychoactive substances produce alterations to biobehavioral processes including attentional and motor control, which affect performance indices in a manner already arguably captured by these technologies.ResultsUsing these existing frameworks, there is considerable potential to similarly catalogue the effect of many common intoxicants known to negatively affect driving ability. This will provide safety-relevant and practical biological models for the development of next-generation multimodal DMS that integrate ocular and physiological variables sensitive to the effects of common and emergent psychoactive substances.ConclusionThese devices have tangible potential application across all areas of transportation, including aviation, rail, and all commercial and private vehicle systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-317
Number of pages5
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021


  • Driver monitoring system (DMS)
  • driving
  • impairment
  • psychoactive
  • alcohol
  • drug

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