motoring: A smart car from SEAT.
If the driver starts to nod off, the steering wheel on the Seat Leon testbed vibrates. The system is activated by a sensor which can detect when a person's eyes are so drowsy that they are in the process of falling asleep.
In addition to the vibrating steering wheel there is a buzzer designed to bring the driver back to consciousness.
The experimental Leon to which this device is fitted is even cleverer than that.
There is a visual and audible warning to alert of any impending dangers on the road ahead and if a phone call is received while negotiating an obstacle, such as a roundabout, the call will be put on hold.
The 'intelligent' Leon made its debut at the Intelligent Transportation Systems Congress in London in collaboration with the European Union's Adaptive Integrated Driver-Vehicle Interface project.
Seat, the Spanish car maker owned by VW, uses a combination of GPS, radar, lasers and various forms of electronically-driven sensors to detect and act upon the various driving aspects in the name of safety.
It has also perfected several ways of issuing vehicle commands without taking hands off the steering wheel, including a new level of voice recognition.
The company says that it is only a matter of time before some or all of the futuristic features are incorporated into everyday cars.