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Staying awake at the wheel

August 1st, 2014 / By: / Industry News

Car seats using knitted sensors to warn drivers when they start to fall asleep are now being developed as part of a study being done by a research team at Nottingham Trent University. Prof. Tilak Dias and William Hurley of the university’s Advanced Textile Research Group will be working with electronic sensor developer Plessey, Devon, U.K., on a feasibility study to investigate how to integrate an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor system directly into the fabric of car seats. With driver fatigue a significant factor in roadway accidents, the goal of the study is to embed a fabric-based sensor system into the seat that will be able to detect the heart signals that indicate a driver is losing alertness. The system would then send a warning to the driver to pull over, and could even engage active cruise control or lane departure technology if the warning is ignored. The project is being funded by the U.K.’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board.

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