Safety device for tired drivers

To help avoid the thousands of accidents caused by tired drivers each year, Ford has come up with a new Driver Alert safety system, which could prove to be a life saver.

The new system analyses driver performance using advanced technology and issues a warning if the driver shows signs of drowsiness or erratic steering, helping motorists prevent accidents and avoid paying unnecessary car insurance premiums.

The Driver Alert system has a small forward-facing camera which is connected to an on-board computer.

The camera is mounted on the back of the rear-view mirror and is designed to look out for lane markings on either side of the vehicle.

When the vehicle starts moving, the computer views the road ahead and predicts where the car should ideally be positioned, relative to the lane markings.

It then measures where the vehicle actually is and if there is a significant difference, the system issues soft audible and visual warnings that intensify if it does not see any reaction from the driver.

Ford engineer Margareta Nieh who helped develop Driver Alert said: "Driver fatigue is a serious problem and one that can affect anyone.

He added: "When drivers become drowsy they tend to drift off line as they lose concentration and then make sudden corrective steering inputs.

"What we've developed is a Driver Alert system that picks up on these erratic driving movements."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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