This Wearable Alerts Drivers to Stay Awake When Behind the Wheel

The alert is not an electric shock but a pinch in the butt.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. In this number, 1,550 resulted to deaths while 71,000 caused injuries.

A survey in 2005 by the National Sleep Foundation called Sleep in America showed that 60% of the driver say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than 33% have slept at the wheel.

Numbers like these are not to be underestimated. It does pay to stay alert when driving to avoid accidents.

This is why mechanical students in Malang, East Java in Indonesia developed a device to keep drivers awake. Drowsiness among drivers are alarming in this side of the globe.

Asri Anjani and Prayogo Bintang from the University of Brawijaya created a wearable which prevents road accidents caused by drowsy drivers.

Photo by The Jakarta Post

The idea is to wear a heart sensor on the driver’s wrist which is connected to a panel placed on the bottom of the driver. That panel should vibrate and squeeze once the sensors detect signs of drowsiness from the driver.

“Human heart pulse is 80 bpm [beats per minute] or below when sleeping. The device detects if the heart pulse is approaching that rate,” Asri said in an interview with The Jakarta Post.

She added that they did not use an electrical shock to alert the driver “because that could surprise the driver.”

Photo by The Jakarta Post

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This device is not only good for drivers in cars, but also motorcycles. Asri said that all motorists on long journeys should be able to find this device very useful.

As of posting, the electronics of the wearable are still visible. The two mechanical engineering students plan are still finalizing the ideal shape of the wrist sensor and the accompanying bottom panel to make the product more practical and comfortable to wear.

Her project partner Bintang shared that plans of patenting the device are underway, as well as entering their invention into the Nation Student Science Week (Pimnas) for competition.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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This Wearable Alerts Drivers to Stay Awake When Behind the Wheel

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