Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Smarter cars

This is nice, but just give me one that drives itself.

A "smart" dashboard that reduces the amount of information displayed to drivers during stressful periods on the road could be available in just five years, say German engineers.

A team from the Technical University of Berlin found they could improve reaction times in real driving conditions by monitoring drivers' brains and reducing distractions during periods of high brain activity. They were able to speed up driver's reactions by as much as 100 milliseconds. It might not sound much, but this is enough to reduce braking distance by nearly 3 metres when travelling at 100 kilometres per hour, says team leader Klaus-Robert Müller. "In a real life situation this could be enough to prevent an accident or stop someone being injured, or worse," he says. "We now have the brain-interface technology to make this a reality."