Vibrating Seat Sees into the Blind Spot

In an attempt to find an alternative to the blinking lights and intermittent sounds commonly used by manufacturers to aid the driver, John Morrell, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Yale University developed the vibrating car seat which can... see.

Morrell had two guidelines when developing the seat: the first, help the driver be aware of what is in his blind spot; secondly, do this without adding another light or sound into the car. The only other means which came to Morrell's mind was, as you already learned, a touch alert.

“Looking at an [light] and converting that into an image of a car in your blind spot requires a little more cognitive ability than if something's touching you,”
Morrell gave a sense of meaning to his invention in an interview with TechNewsDaily. “It's a more direct pathway into the brain, since touch gives you orientation for free.

The seat is packed with vibrating cell phone motors and actuators. Using sensors on the outside of the car, the system sees vehicles passing through the driver's blind spot and cause the seat to vibrate and push the driver.

Of course, Morrell had to consider that a sudden jolt coming from your seat while enjoying a comfortable cruise might scare the driver enough to ruin his day, car and even his life. To avoid all that ruining stuff, he decided to make the seat vibrate constantly and mildly, making the driver aware of the traffic conditions at all times.

“A lot of the systems companies are putting in cars are designed to detect information before a crisis and doing something to prevent the crisis,” Morrell added.

Some of you might consider this to be a bad idea, as a vibrating seat might be the last distraction you need while behind the wheel. We at autoevolution however, as drivers who need no assistance from technology to drive a car (is not that hard, you know?), found another use for it: a neat massage chair for cars!
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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