Why wait for the onset of micro sleeps to alert the driver?

Automotive manufacturers have a long and proud history of perfecting safety features for cars. But what about the safety of the driver? Optalert believes the driver should be monitored continually, not just on the edge of sleep. Optalert’s vision is for every driver to be protected, all of the time.

How many micro-sleeps are acceptable?

Drowsiness: The only automotive safety issue without an effective technology solution….until now.

Sleepiness or drowsy driving is a serious problem and one of the leading causes of road crashes each year. It can happen to anyone, no matter how experienced a driver they might be. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for over 72,000 crashes, and 800 deaths per annum1.

Major causes of drowsy driving:

  • Lack of sleep or cumulative sleep deficit
  • Other considerations such as medication, alcohol, etc
  • Time of day based on natural circadian rhythm
  • Low cognitive load
    • Low levels of mental activity, such as when driving on a highway, actually exacerbate the onset of drowsiness
    • This represents an emerging issue for autonomous driving systems. In particular for the system to know the state of the driver prior to handing control back for level 2 or 3 autonomous systems.

Issues with existing solutions


  • Not a direct measurement of real drowsiness
  • Detection of yawning, eye closed
  • Detects micro sleeps as they occur
  • Alert to driver is only once they are already in danger
  • Susceptible to false positives