Teen scoops top award for groundbreaking AI programme that stops drivers dozing off at the wheel

Michał Paczyński from the town of Iłża near Radom beat off competition from hundreds of entries across the world to take first place at the International Impact Creators Competition in San Francisco organised by Intel. Michał Paczyński/Facebook

A high school student who designed an AI programme to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel has been awarded first place in a prestigious global IT competition.

Michał Paczyński from the town of Iłża near Radom beat off competition from hundreds of entries across the world to take first place at the International Impact Creators Competition in San Francisco organised by Intel.

Paczyński’s FATIK project (Fatigue Detection Model to Prevent Accidents) which triumphed in the final of the 13-18 AI Impact Creators category, uses an algorithm to identify the driver’s eye in an image which is the passed through a neural network to work out if the eye is open or closed. Michał Paczyński/Facebook

His FATIK project (Fatigue Detection Model to Prevent Accidents) which triumphed in the final of the 13-18 AI Impact Creators category, uses an algorithm to identify the driver’s eye in an image which is the passed through a neural network to work out if the eye is open or closed. 

An alarm is triggered if the eye is detected as shut for a particular period of time.

The 18-year-old will now receive mentoring and technological support for further work in developing his FATIK system.Michał Paczyński

The programme which took just four months to complete, also collects data to create a profile of the driver, enabling it to identify how tired and stressed the driver is at any given moment and whether they prefer daytime or night-time driving.

Following his incredible win, the 18-year-old who will now receive mentoring and technological support for further work in developing his FATIK system, said: “I really wanted to show that algorithms can also be very helpful in real life and not a dangerous monster, which will come and kill everyone like in films.”

Paczyński, who has received an offer of an internship at Intel in Gdańsk is now considering moving to the city and studying at the Gdańsk University of Technology where he is considering an English language degree in Data Engineering and a major in Automation, Robotics and Cybernetics.