By Jenny Wilson
Posting in Technology
A vibrating steering wheel using haptic technology allows drivers to avoid taking their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel while using in-car navigation.
AT&T and Carnegie Mellon may have the next innovation in GPS technology. A vibrating steering wheel that uses haptic technology would allow drivers to reach their destination without having to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel in order to figure out instructions from their confusing navigation system.
This haptic form of navigation is more intuitive than auditory messages, which require drivers to hear and process instructions. AT&T researcher Kevin Lee explains the benefit of this new type of sensory messages, and says that they are, "taking advantage of what people are already familiar with, making them easier to learn."
The prototype of this new wheel contains GPS technology and 20 small motors in the wheel, that move in a circular pattern to indicate a turn--clockwise for right and counter-clockwise for left. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute conducted studies of found that auditory and haptic feedback kept drivers' eyes on the road better than the traditional combination of audio and visual. As carmakers attempt to make the roads safer, a GPS system that helps users keep their eyes on the road may be a logical next step.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Newest driving safety feature: vibrating seats
- Mobile Lorm Glove allows deaf blind people to communicate
- Federal regulators to require rearview cameras in automobiles
- Nevada first to approve guidelines for self-driving cars
Apr 24, 2012
Given a choice, I'd rather have a map projected onto a heads up display. Cost would be a factor too.
Put the small motors in the driver's seat-back and the system also will give a massage that will take the stress out of driving.
Could this be developed to also alert drivers if they are 'veering off' to warn sleepy or otherwise unfocussed drivers. Maybe even a pressure sensor to determine when the vehicle is in motion but the steering wheel not being held. It could even tie-in with making calls to emergency services in the event of a lack of driver stimulus. I guess I should have patented this before mentioning it on a public forum. Oh well; Innovation: 1, Patent Monkey's: 0