Driving a long-distance bus or not taking a good rest will cause the driver to get sleepy when driving, and fatigue driving is an important reason for the high incidence of accidents. In order to "refresh" the driver, tea and tobacco alone are obviously not enough. But researchers at Nottingham Trent University are developing a car seat with a heart rate sensor so that they can be reminded in time when they start to doze off.
The research partner, a British company called Plessey Semiconductors, has successfully deployed capacitive sensors on the driver’s seat to quietly measure its heart signals.
In order to make this system look flat enough and unobtrusive, the researchers came up with a solution that put the sensor in the textile (seat cover) instead of attaching it directly to the seat.
The team now has a working prototype, but still needs to "improve consistency and reliability" before it can be used for other purposes. In essence, the data collected is not always reliable and available.
Based on the collected data, the system will issue an alert when the driver becomes fatigued and advise him to pull over and rest.
If the alarm is ignored, the system can also perform further actions, such as activating active cruise control and lane departure systems, so that the car can safely stick to the side of the road.
Of course, this information can also be sent to the control center. Although some people feel that this kind of thinking is a bit "disturbing", it may also save a lot of lives.
The Technology Strategy Board has pledged to fund the project £88,318 (US$151,046). As for its future development, it must be very interesting.