This new idea from Denso could one day save your life.
Japanese automotive parts supplier Denso has come up with an ingenious new way to keep drowsy drivers from nodding off and getting into accidents. CNET reports that the system involves spraying cold air from the air conditioning onto the necks of drivers to keep them awake. It works in conjunction with a driver status monitor, which uses cameras and facial recognition technology to detect drowsiness. Several factors can set the system off, including a head bobbing and the eyelids lowering.
Once you’re judged to be falling asleep the air conditioner will shoot cold air at your neck which should perk you up, especially if the cabin is nice and toasty. Denso is developing the tech for Japan and there’s no word on whether or not it could ever reach America. That being said we don’t know why this sort of thing wouldn’t be accepted by American drivers. If anything we could see other companies—the Germans come to mind—taking this tech a step further. What if cold air was shot at the neck and the stereo was cranked or an alarm set off? Falling asleep behind the wheel is incredibly easy to do and the results can be catastrophic. We’re all for new tech that keeps drowsy drivers awake or gets them off the road entirely.