We don't really think about it much, but when we drive, we're actually operating a steel beast capable of causing a flaming death. With all the dials and speedometers, not to mention the popularity of ICE (in-car entertainment) systems, the average driver is already bombarded with visual and audio stimuli. Hence, John Morrell, a former Segway engineer and an associate professor at Yale School of Engineering, has created a system that warns drivers of dangers by using vibrations.
By loading the back of the driver's seat with motorized actuators, the side of the seat closest to the danger offers tactile feedback when the car detects another vehicle or obstruction in close proximity. A car coming up directly behind the driver sets off the center vibrators, while vehicles approaching on the left or right activate same-side warnings. The intensity of the vibrations increase as the cars get closer.
This is a great way to overcome the issue of blind spots as it keeps drivers aware of other objects without requiring them to take their eyes off the road. No news on when this system will be implemented, but we suspect it will probably pop up in high-end cars before hitting the mid-range autos on the road.