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New car seats know when you're drifting off at the wheel

Date: 15/07/2014 12:37:32
Category: Car tracking
Author: Jack Stanton

In a bid to save lives UK researchers are set to build new car seats which will detect when a driver is falling asleep at the wheel.

Nottingham Trent University, in collaboration with Plessey Semiconductors, will use an Electric Potential Integrated Circuit (EPIC) which monitors your heart rate and reaction time from an electrocardiogram (ECG) system built into the driver's seat.

The driver will then be warned to pull over, and if that fails to wake them from their snooze then active cruise control or lane departure technology will be activated to steer the vehicle safely, reports mobihealthnews.com.

Plessey has an executive license for the technology and has previously been reported as having had talks with "high end" car manufacturers regarding the advanced seats, although it is believed the research team will focus on seats for lorry drivers to begin with. Some £88,000 in funding has been supplied by the Technology Strategy Board for the project.

Professor Tilak Dias, of Nottingham Trent University's Advanced Textile Research Group, told telegraph.co.uk: "Plessey has already demonstrated that cardiac signals can be measured unobtrusively using capacitive sensors mounted within the driver's seat; the requirement now is to improve the consistency and reliability of the data so that it can be used for the intended purpose."

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