I’ve never fallen asleep at the wheel, though I was once in a car with someone who did. It was only through my Boy Scout training and quick reflexes that we did not die, and he still owes me for saving his paint job. New technology from Mercedes-Benz might make such scenarios a thing of the distant, archaic past.
We’ve seen gadgets with similar intents in the past, mostly in the form of motion sensors worn on the ear that alert you that you’re head’s drooping or at a sleepy angle. Benz is going one better, using biometrics to monitor your body for signs of fatigue, and combining them with factors such as trip duration and time of day to determine if you’re too pooped to drive. If you are your fancy car will recommend you pull off and take a break.
It wouldn’t be a far fetched prediction to say this could be tied into the car’s onboard computer and GPS system. If you need just a quick pick-me-up, it can help you find the nearest Starbucks. If you’re really tuckered out, it could help you find the nearest hotel.
Called Attention Assist, the system should make its way into the 2009 line-up of Mercedes, and possibly be licensed out shortly thereafter.