A shaking steering wheel could soon be used to remind distracted motorists to keep their eyes on the road.

A British company has designed cockpit cameras that read drivers’ expressions in order to detect whether they might be drifting off while behind the wheel.

Experts based at ARM Holdings in Cambridge, which have come up with the technology, say the new device could save lives.

The device would sit on the vehicle’s rear-view mirror where it would scan the driver’s ‘blink rate’ for evidence of drowsiness.

The alert would then come either through a shaking steering wheel, a vibrating seat or an audible alarm.

Richard York, ARM’s vice-president, said sensors were becoming more common in modern cars. They are used for a variety of preventative measures, including measuring the distance between vehicles and when a car drifts out of a lane.

Talking about the latest development, which is said to still be a few years away from completion, he told The Times: ‘The evidence is that almost all accidents are caused by drivers not paying attention.

‘Electronics can play a big role in looking into the vehicle to keep an eye on the driver.’

Poor concentration is the main cause of road accidents in the UK.

Experts have also blamed a reliance on in-car gadgets, such as hands-free phones and GPS devices, on a four per cent increase in road deaths and serious injuries.

Road traffic injuries are also the leading cause of death among those aged between 15 and 29.



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