Toyota Enters the Automotive Alertness Race

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
toyota enters the automotive alertness race

As we reported yesterday, Mercedes is working on anti-driver fatigue gizmology. Yahoo! Canada reports that Toyota has decided that the world needs more 'lerts. ToMoCo's recruiting the research team that developed Nintendo's "brain training" games to help them ride herd on driver alertness, specifically as it involves the elderly. Their wakeupmobile concept will monitor the helmsman's "brain activity, automatic nerve reflexes, attentiveness and other mental and physical conditions" and then stimulate the drowsy driver through a variety of means– including cranking-up the AC "to invigorate the driver's brain." Toyota hopes to put some of the systems they develop into use by 2015 to 2020. Nissan has also expressed interest in research in this area, but has made no decision to pursue it. No word from Buick who's rumored to be surveying their remaining customers to determine if A) they're still alive and B) they can understand the system's advantages.

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  • NICKNICK NICKNICK on Dec 19, 2007

    if this is what automakers are focusing on, then i guess i'm set for used cars for the rest of my life. i've got a couple of good ones now, and in five years when i need another one, the 2007 models should be ready to buy on the cheap. if alertness is today's biz, then i guess everything is perfectly reliable and safe. sounds good to me.

  • SherbornSean SherbornSean on Dec 19, 2007

    Great points, Martin!

  • Blunozer Blunozer on Dec 19, 2007

    I suggest spraying the occasional blast of aerosal crystal meth out of the A/C vents. Either that or a steady supply of this: or

  • 50merc 50merc on Dec 19, 2007

    There are also the narcoleptics, in America about one in two thousand of the population. But I agree with Sherman -- the number of night-shift workers is justification by itself for anti-sleepiness devices. BTW, though old folks get the most raps for dozing off, I think reckless youngsters are more apt to exceed the limits for safe driving. A college friend who'd make 1,600 mile non-stop trips comes to mind.