The system attempts to identify fatigue and tiredness in the driver’s behavioural patterns.
Nissan marked Drowsy Driving Awareness day in style by announcing its new Driver Attention Alert. The new warning system is aimed at alerting sleepy drivers to take a break on long journeys.
The smart feature analyses the driver’s steering behaviour in a matter of minutes. Then, it attempts to identify fatigue and tiredness in the driver’s behavioural patterns.
On detection of drowsiness, a chime sounds and a picture of a coffee cup captioned ‘take a break’ are displayed to alert the driver.
All of this is accomplished with highly-advanced technology in a James Bond-style steering angle sensors, but of course!
Nissan is confident their technology will be accurate in identifying genuine cases of fatigue and ‘inattention’, and not become a nuisance gizmo.
The Japanese car maker said: “The system includes logic to help address false detection, road curvatures, lane changes, braking and even poor road conditions.
“The system automatically resets when the engine is turned off. It can also be turned off by the driver if desired.”
DDA will be featured on two of their latest models – the 2015 Murano and 2016 Maxima. The Qashqai and other Nissan models will follow.
DESIblitz wants to take Nissan’s feature a step further (and safer) and explores how this type of technology can be customised for Desi drivers:
- Replacing the chime sound with a slurp of chai?
- Changing the picture of coffee to the driver’s mother with a rolling pin in her hand?
- Playing ‘Mundian to Bach Ke’ upon drowsiness detection (assuming it’s not already playing)?
Putting the Desi twist aside, the question remains whether consumers will truly benefit from Nissan’s latest offering.
Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, Renault and Toyota all have their own forms of drowsiness alerts in a bid to outdo each other in the safety department.
So is Nissan’s warning system the real deal or simply taking consumers for a ride with pricey add-ons?
It is undeniable that technology can play a major part in combating sleep-related road accidents, as the UK government’s statistics paint a rather grim picture.
Out of all major UK road accidents, 20 per cent are sleep-related and 40 per cent of them involve commercial vehicles.
What’s more, men under the age of 30 are found to carry the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
Its credibility will become apparent once in use on a daily basis by consumers. Nissan is also quick to point out the warning system does not replace the driver.
Nissan stated: “It is only a warning to inform the driver of a potential lack of driver attention or drowsiness. It does detect and provide an alert in every situation.”
Other Nissan safety features to look out for in the near future include:
- Forward Emergency Braking
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Lane Departure Warning
- Moving object detection
- Around View Monitor with Park Assist
Drowsy alerts may become a popular accompaniment to turning up the volume on the radio or winding down the window. Time will tell if this is a life-saving, must-have safety feature or just another annoying marketing gimmick.
One thing for sure is with improving technology, the increase in the battle for safety features in the car market will provide consumers with more choices and ultimately save lives.