Detection of driver hands on/off the steering wheel
The megatrend in the automotive industry is currently autonomous driving, with vehicle manufacturers offering numerous Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). However, under the Vienna Convention, a driver must remain in control of the vehicle at all times.
In general, one can assume that if the driver has their hands on the steering wheel, following the movements of the automated steering, they have control of the vehicle.
To address this issue, IEE developed Hands Off Detection (HOD), a sensing system that measures the capacitance between a conductive layer in the steering wheel (antenna) and the electrical ground in such things as the car body or the seat frame.
HOD provides the input for ADAS, notifying them in less than 100 milliseconds whether or not the driver has their hands on the wheel.
HOD can be implemented by any steering wheel supplier using their serial processes and can also be combined with a steering wheel heater.
In future vehicles with autonomous driving functions, we expect that HOD will play a major role in monitoring the transition between manual and automated driving modes.