London, Aug 5 (ANI): When it comes to checking the level of alertness of a person behind the wheel, a car's judgement may be more reliable than the driver's own perception of it, a new study suggests.
In the study, Eike Schmidt of car manufacturer Daimler in Böblingen, Germany, and his team conducted tests on volunteers during a 4-hour drive along the autobahn.
To make the drive as boring as possible, the drivers were asked not to chat or listen to the radio.
Every 20 minutes, the researchers asked the volunteers how attentive they were feeling.
They also tested the volunteers' reaction times by asking them to push a button attached to their thumbs every time they heard a certain tone.
Each driver's heart rate and brainwave frequency, which are indicators of attentiveness, were also recorded during these tasks.
The study showed that while all measures of alertness declined over the 4-hour period, in the final hour the drivers reported feeling more vigilant than the physiological tests suggested.
Schmidt says that the study points to the importance of alertness monitoring systems.
"If the person's saying, 'Oh, I'm awake,' and the system's saying, 'You're not,' the system might very well be right," New Scientist quoted Schmidt as saying.
The research article has been described in Accident Analysis and Prevention. (ANI)