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Thirsty Drivers Are Just as Dangerous as Inebriated Ones Says Nissan

Drinking prohibition while driving must be almost as old as the car itself, and it must have made quite a few people upset the first time it was introduced, to the delight of the horse dealers who were instantly given an excellent unique selling proposition.
Nissan's sweat-sensitive wheel and seat 5 photos
Nissan's sweat-sensitive wheel and seatNissan's sweat-sensitive wheel and seatNissan's sweat-sensitive wheel and seatNissan's sweat-sensitive wheel and seat
But people soon came to realize that the decision was right, so car sales took off and drinking became something most drivers did in the evening after the keys had been hung for the day. However, it turns out that drinking alcohol isn't the only thing that can severely affect your driving abilities: not drinking enough water will do the same thing.

Nissan has leaned over this issue and developed a steering wheel and driver's seat that can detect when the person using them is dehydrated. At this point, you're probably thinking the Japanese company used some state-of-the-art sensors to measure the water content in your body cells, but you would be wrong.

Instead, Nissan teamed up with Dutch design company Droog which has come up with a sweat-sensitive textile coating previously used on conceptual active wear intended to tell athletes when they are getting dangerously dehydrated. The fabrics will change color depending on the amount of sweat they enter into contact with, ranging from yellow for dehydrated to blue for OK.

The system is so terribly flawed Nissan should actually be ashamed of itself for coming up with such a cheap PR flick. First of all, it relies on your clothes being soaked in sweat or you not wearing any. If it's winter and you're wearing thick garments, you might as well have the Niagara Falls coming out of your armpits, the Nissan system won't know it.

Second, people don't lose water just by sweating. You can dehydrate by simply forgetting to drink water, at which point sweating is the last thing your body will do. But let's assume this is aimed at people who work out. Well, anyone who's been out for a run knows that you don't stop sweating for at least ten minutes after you've stopped, so even if you pour a gallon of water down your throat and then get into your Nissan, the steering wheel and seat will still turn yellow.

At this point you can either trust the fabric and down one more gallon, thus probably ending your life, or just know you're hydrated and ignore the warning. In other words, determining whether you should have some water or not by using your mind - something you should have done as well when choosing to get that stupid Nissan sweat-detection system.

press release

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