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Ford develops new device to keep lorry drivers awake

AOL Cars UK logo AOL Cars UK 13/11/2017 Staff writer

If a motorist falls asleep at the wheel, it can cause a major accident – if the driver of a 44-tonne HGV does the same, it can cause catastrophe. To help prevent incidents like this occurring, the Brazilian arm of Ford has come up with a high-tech wearable device which will wake up a driver if it detects they're about to nod off.

The SafeCap looks just like a baseball cap, but hides an accelerometer and a gyroscope which can detect a driver's head movements. It's able to differentiate between intentional change, like checking the instrument panel or mirrors, and the pronounced head droop of a tired driver.

See also: Driving while tired is as dangerous as drink-driving, study finds

See also: What's really legal while driving?

When the SafeCap senses the driver is about to nod off, it uses sound, vibration, and flashing lights to wake them up – after which, the driver would hopefully find a safe place to pull over and catch a few winks.

The cap is currently only a prototype, and it's not clear whether Ford intends to manufacture it on a wider scale.

"SafeCap, which began as a local market project, continues to grow as we see potential around the world," said Oswaldo Ramos, Ford's head of sales, marketing and service in Brazil.

a man looking at the camera © Provided by AOL Cars UK

"After we conclude our Brazilian tests, the goal is to share with other countries."

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