No more falling asleep at the wheel

No more falling asleep at the wheel


The next time you start to fall asleep at the wheel could be your last, although it might not be because you plummet over a cliff.

Researchers across the European Union have recruited 500 brave folks to test a new driver early-warning device called Sensation, which has been designed to offset driver fatigue by waking you up if you start to nod off at the wheel.

It’s a rather complicated three-part system. Specially designed material in the driver-side seat monitors your body heat; if it drops below a certain level, then you are rewarded with a beep that is loud enough to make you sit upright. Other body temperature sensors can be installed on the steering wheel. The last part of the system is the in-windshield camera, which is trained on your eyes and looks for signs of too much blinking, a common sign of fatigue.

A recent survey found that nearly half of a large group of drivers selected randomly had admitted to taking the wheel while drowsy; of those, nearly 33 percent had found themselves falling asleep while their vehicles were in motion.

So now you’re wondering about price. Well, it’s US$3,500. Compared to the price of a new car or hospital costs, it’s probably worth it.