Falling asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous both for the driver, and for others sharing the road with them. A team of researchers at Nottingham Trent University are working on a solution to this driving threat. They’re doing it with sensors in a car seat that detect the driver’s heart rate, and alert the driver if they start dozing off.
Plessey Semiconductors, a UK company that’s collaborating with the university on the research, has already successfully used capacitive sensors mounted in a driver’s seat to unobtrusively measure the occupant’s cardiac signals.
To make the system really flat and unobtrusive, however, the researchers are proposing an actual textile that would feature the sensors, instead of devices that are attached to existing car seats. The team has a working prototype, but it has cited a need to “improve the consistency and reliability of the data so that it can be used for the intended purpose.”