For Sleepy Drivers, a Portable Alertness Monitor – NYTimes.com

Driving while tired has been proven to be as dangerous as drunk driving. Yet many of us still do it. New systems have been developed to help warn drivers when the car senses that they are getting sleepy.

Among the newest of these technologies is the Anti-Sleep Pilot.

[The Anti-Sleep Pilot is] a battery-powered electronic device that mounts to a magnetic base on the dashboard. It operates with a customized “risk profile” created by the driver’s responses to 14 questions that range from age and sex to “do you work in day or evening?” and “taking any medications?”

During each drive, the Pilot weighs its stored information against the time of day, who is driving and how long they’ve been on the road without stopping for a break. It then sets an engagement level to test your alertness. The device displays an orange light and emits a sound that Mr. Palshof described in an interview as “doot doot.” The driver then needs to quickly reach over and touch the top of the Pilot, which the company says helps maintain alertness and also allows measurement of the reaction time. A red light means the driver has failed the test and it’s time to stop and take a break.

For those interested, the Anti-Sleep pilot will make it’s American debut in early 2011.

For Sleepy Drivers, a Portable Alertness Monitor – NYTimes.com

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