Mercedes-Benz has developed the world’s first drowsy-driver detection system set to become standard on next year’s new E-class sedan. While Mercedes has been working on the ‘Attention Assist’ for more than 10 years, they cite recent accelerated development as the result of fatigue at the wheel being the cause of more than 100,000 crashes and over 1,500 deaths annually on roads in the United States.
The system is set to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. The monitor is able to judge fatigue by constantly monitoring a driver’s behavior, sending warning chimes and a lit coffee-cup sign when it senses a serious drop-off in alertness levels. The system also monitors braking, acceleration, the time and road conditions to judge a driver’s behavior.
“Studies show that after just four hours of driving, the risk of an accident doubles,” says Mercedes-Benz expert Jorg Breuer. “It increases eightfold after six hours, and drivers often fail to recognize drowsiness early enough.”
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