Go Ahead Kids, Scream All You Want, This Car Is Driving Itself


You’re driving along, kids screaming in the back, DVD player turned up so loud you secretly wish your ear drums would pop and end your agony.  But then it happens, the magically GPS voice starts talking to you – what did she say?  Was that “turn right in 200 feet” or  “turn on the light with your feet”?  It is too damn loud, you can’t hear the GPS, you don’t know what to do with your feet – then your brain explodes.

Fear Not Parents, Technology Will Be Your Savior

Let’s face it Dads, the car can be a pretty stressful place – filled with every loud distraction our lovely family can afford us.   Now, researchers at the University of Utah might have figured out a way to pull us out of this mess – literally!   They are testing devices on steering wheels that guide drivers by pulling skin on index fingers to the left or the right, forcing you to turn the wheel!

The way it works is tactile pads are placed on the steering wheel and fed directions via a GPS unit.  When it is time to turn right, the GPS sends a signal to the the tactile pads and the pads actually pull your fingers to the right, in effect turning the steering wheel to the right.

Could This Really Work?

Researches got some drivers to test out the system in both distracted and un-distracted (does this exist?) scenarios.  They compared the accuracy of the tactile pads vs GPS voice commands.  If the driver was NOT distracted – tactile and GPS both performed about the same (97% accuracy).

When the driver was on the cell phone (distracted) and following the GPS directions, they only had 74% accuracy.  Drivers on the cell phone, using the tactile direction system – 98% accuracy!

Sounds Great, But Let’s Test it With a Minivan Full of Kids!

Any Dad will tell you that a cell phone is just about the least distracting thing in a minivan full of kids.  Send some units over to DadDoes and we will see how it does when food is flying, kids are screaming and our only hope is the kids pass out before we do.

Read More – Via CNET – Hearing impaired? Steering wheel can guide you

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