Attention Assist - Drowsy-Driver Detection Standard

Attention Assist, a sophisticated drowsy-driver detection system, is now standard equipment - as long as you're buying a new E-class Mercedes-Benz sedan.

(Mercedes-Benz Attention Assist)

Mercedes-Benz engineers proved their worth by testing almost 600 drivers, using electrode-studded skullcaps to determine sleepiness. In the end, they asked for just one new mechanical part: a more accurate steering sensor.

Mercedes claims its system is an independent judge of fatigue, constantly monitoring a driver’s behavior to send warning chimes and flare a coffee-cup sign when it senses a serious drop-off in alertness levels.

“Studies show that after just four hours of driving, the risk of an accident doubles,” Mercedes-Benz Attention Assist expert Jorg Breuer said. “It increases eightfold after six hours, and drivers often fail to recognize drowsiness early enough.”

This drowsy-driver detection system is considered futuristic - and yet it is the exact opposite of the feature offered in the Camden speedster from Robert Heinlein's 1941 classic Methuselah's Children.

She dropped down the lift tube outside Ventura's apartment, claimed her speedy little ground car from the attending automaton in the basement, and set the control combination for North Shore. The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...

She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her...
(Read more about Heinlein's Camden speedster)

From No Doze: Mercedes E-Class alerts drowsy drivers via engadget.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/28/2008)

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