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Cars of the future may “nudge” distracted drivers to pay attention

by Todd Haselton | March 15, 2016March 15, 2016 5:30 pm PST


Sometimes we all need a nudge to get back on track and soon our cars might be able to give us a quick prod to continue paying attention. The Wall Street Journal said several automakers including VW, Toyota, GM and Nissan are building cars that “are experimenting with technology that monitors the drivers’ attention.” If the driver starts to take his or her eyes off the road to send a text message, apply makeup, tie a shoelace or any number of things a driver should never do, the car will notice and can work to correct the driver.

As The Wall Street Journal notes, there are already cars with built-in systems that can alert a driver if he or she starts to veer toward another lane – there’s a beep in some of the cars I’ve personally tested with this feature – but that doesn’t necessarily stop a driver who might be really distracted. The new technology vibrates the driver seat to alert the driver that he or she should probably stop trying to take a selfie on the highway and should get back to watching the road.

The fear, according to The Wall Street Journal, is that drivers won’t use the feature anyway. Turns out that plenty turn off the lane departure warnings, so they might also turn this feature off, too. But at least researchers are trying to figure out a way to keep us safer.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...