Vibrating car seats prevent accidents

Posted on Saturday, 10 July 2010 , 08:07:49 byAlina

Filed under vibratingcarseatspreventaccidentsNone

Vibrating car seats prevent accidents

John Morrell, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Yale University developed the vibrating car seat which can prevent accidents by using the sense of touch to alert drivers to cars in the car's blind spot, and other hard-to-see spots around the rear of the vehicle.

Using a touch alert has two advantages over the visual and audio warnings already deployed in some cars, said John Morrell. First, the modern drivers already finds themselves bombarded by numerous blinking lights, and adding one more would only distract drivers further. Second, a touch cue can transmit location without requiring the driver to turn their head, while also grabbing the driverís attention in a more visceral way.

"Looking at an (light) and converting that into an image of a car in your blind spot requires a little more cognitive ability than if something's touching you," Morrell told TechNewsDaily. "It's a more direct pathway into the brain, since touch gives you orientation for free."

The seat is packed with vibrating cell phone motors and actuators, embedded in the driver's seat. The seat vibrates and pushes the driver.

When another vehicle moves behind or beside the car, sensors send a message to the seat that increases the vibrating and pushing on that side of the driver's back.

A sudden jolt coming from the seat while enjoying a comfortable cruise might scare the driver. This is the reason why Morrell decided that the vibration should remain a constant and a very lightly physical presence for the entire ride.

"A lot of the systems companies are putting in cars are designed to detect information before a crisis and doing something to prevent the crisis," Morrell said.