Apparently the company has never heard of coffee.

Everyone gets drowsy behind the wheel. In fact, many studies have shown that drowsy drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers. Panasonic says it has developed drowsiness-control technology that can not only detect drowsy people and predict when they might get drowsy, but also keep them “comfortably awake” while driving. This should be interesting.

 

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Monitoring drivers isn’t anything new. There are actually quite a few cars available today from manufacturers like Volvo and Mercedes-Benz that monitor a variety of conditions to determine if the driver needs a break. Panasonic’s technology gets a bit more personal by watching your eyes, facial expressions, and even checking out your body heat via infrared cameras. It also looks at ambient light to determine whether it’s day or night, and it runs all that information through an “artificial intelligence” which then decides if you’re sleepy or getting sleepy.

Okay, that’s interesting enough but what about the measures it will take to keep you awake? In an ideal world, the system would brew the best dark roast coffee you’ve ever had, set to just the right temperature to be hot but not scalding and delivered through a special tube that descends from the roof like a periscope. Sadly we don’t live in an ideal world, and actually, Panasonic doesn’t clearly explain just what the system specifically does. There is, however, a nifty flowchart that suggests the solution is to simply turn on the air conditioner, which in theory will wake you up by making you more comfortable. Um, isn’t being more comfortable how you actually get to sleep?

 

Panasonic drowsiness tech

 

Failing that, it will tell you to pull the hell over and take a nap. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

The company says samples of the drowsiness-control system will be available in October. We’ll hold our skepticism until we get a change to actually try it out. In the meantime, always remember: friends don’t let friends road trip without coffee. In fact, friends don't let friends do anything without coffee.

Source: Panasonic

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