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British Microchip firm, ARM, have recently announced their newest innovation – a camera that causes steering wheels to vibrate and is fitted with an alarm.
The company claims that drivers who may begin to drift off to sleep behind the wheel could be spared from potential disaster, or worse still death on the road, if cars are fitted with the new gadget.
Concentration lapses are the biggest cause of crashes on UK roads than any other factor and it is hoped that the new invention from ARM will eradicate the growing problem among drivers.
Road safety experts have revealed that accidents on the roads resulting in fatalities and serious injuries have increased 4 per cent in the past year, with gadgets such as satellite navigation systems and mobile phones blamed for the rise.
The Cambridge-based firm have developed a camera capable of monitoring a driver’s eyes, that can detect lapses in focus, including nodding off. The new system warns drivers by sending pulses through the wheel and sounding an alarm.
Richard York, vice-president of ARM, told The Times that sensors are already being used by manufacturers to help prevent front-end crashes and monitors that “look into vehicles” to check the driver’s response are the next step.
He said: “The evidence is that almost all accidents are caused by drivers not paying attention.
“Electronics can play a big role in looking into the vehicle to keep an eye on the driver and make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing, driving.”
The equipment can be mounted beside the car’s rear-view mirror and will scan a driver’s eyes and check their “blink rate” for signs of fatigue.
The firm predicts that the technology is just a “few years away from mass deployment”.
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