December 26, 2008
Mercedes develops Attention Assist system alerts sleepy drivers
The engineers at Mercedes have developed a new system to monitor the drowsiness of a driver and provide an alert before the driver falls asleep and causes a crash. The luxury car business may be prestigious with its gleaming, aspirational image, but is a very demanding one as well for manufacturers. With almost all luxury-car manufacturers offering comparable levels of comfort, opulence, and performance, these famed brands are constantly on the lookout for new USPs that will put some distance between the others and themselves. A very precise steering shaft sensor now monitors inputs to a tenth of a degree to help determine a driver’s reaction time and the severity of corrections made to keep the car on course.
Several other factors are monitored, but not the driver’s eyes. Other attention monitoring systems focus on the eyes, but those systems do not work for people wearing glasses. It takes 20 to 30 minutes of normal driving for the car to learn your individual driving habits and determine which inputs are normal. After that, the Mercedes will monitor your driving and give an audible and visual alert when it detects a period of no corrections and then an over-correction from the driver.