Garmin Smartwatches Help Predict Drowsy Driving

Drowsiness prevention solution uses heart rate variability data to predict when drivers may fall asleep at the wheel

It is estimated that more than 300,000 drowsy driving collisions occur each year around the world. With the aim of increasing the safety and well-being of drivers, CORE for Tech™ is a drowsiness prevention solution that combines data from Garmin® watches with information about traffic, weather conditions or type of road to anticipate drowsiness while driving.

Real-time Alerts based on Heart Rate Variability Data

Using patented software and more than 20 years of public medical research, CORE for Tech measures the physiological signs of drowsiness and fatigue and considers the journey ahead to advise drivers of their options through an app in real time. A user’s heart rate variability1 is analysed to give a drowsiness score. This, combined with driving conditions such as traffic, road type, weather and time period, allows CORE for Tech to predict drowsiness level and optimise a user’s planned journey.

Essential Health Metrics Recorded on Garmin Smartwatches

The physiological data used by the CORE for Tech algorithm is recorded on a Garmin smartwatch and delivered via the Garmin Health API. Continuous heart rate variability information is transformed into HRV indexes, then Drowsiness indexes. The companion Garmin smartwatch also collects other health metrics, including sleep, Body Battery™, stress levels, respiration rates and more.1 While some of this information (like sleep) is already contributing to effective trip planning for drivers, other factors will be analysed in the future to provide additional insights into how driving capabilities can be improved throughout a journey.

Nicolas Vera, CEO of CORE for Tech, says, “Garmin was chosen for its brand strength, PPG technology reliability and the reliability of Firstbeat Analytics™ algorithms.”

The Future of Safe Driving

Increasing driver awareness and rewarding individuals for safer driving, CORE for Tech aims to reduce the number and severity of road collisions caused by drowsiness and fatigue. Launching first in Europe (English and French languages currently available, with Spanish, Italian and German to follow) and planning to expand to the U.S. and globally, the team will continue to collaborate with Garmin, leveraging Garmin hardware capabilities in line with its mission.

1Garmin devices are not designed or intended to monitor or diagnose diseases or any medical conditions. Find information on metric accuracy here.