If you are worried about dozing off behind the wheel – despite having emptied your G&B mug of coffee – you may soon be able to relax: HARKEN will come to your rescue.
HARKEN stands for – fasten your seatbelts (and sorry for the obvious pun) – Heart And Respiration in-Kar Embedded Non-intrusive sensors. By means of intelligent materials, the sensors are placed in the seat belt and in the seat cover to measure the “mechanical effects of the heart beat and the respiratory activity.” A processing unit alerts the driver, if the signals from the sensors indicate that the driver is falling asleep.
It’s unclear how HARKEN will alert you – my recommendations would be a gentle electric zap through the seat belt, or randomly play one of these albums at max volume.
The project is currently being developed and tested by an EU-funded consortium, and the hope is that the technology will be market-ready in the very near future.
You can read more about HARKEN on the project’s web site.