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Nissan concept car bristling with Big-Brother technology

As we’ve seen before, Nissan Japan is actively developing and employing technologies to increase the safety of their vehicles, with a particular emphasis on combating drunk driving and minimizing the impact of accidents. With those goals in mind, the company yesterday unveiled a raft of new methods aimed at making life safer for both drivers and pedestrians.

The first to see service is a modified car hood that will be fitted to certain new cars from the fall. The Pop-up Engine Hood uses a sensor in the front bumper to detect when the car has hit a pedestrian.

If it judges the impact severe enough, the system instantly opens the hood by a few centimeters. This creates a cushioning space between any pedestrian hitting the metal and the much harder engine below.

The other systems are still some way off a real-world debut and were showcased in a concept car as part of Nissan’s Vision 2015 plan to cut accidents in half by that year.

An alcohol-detection system uses sensors in the seats and gear-shift stick, combined with a transmission lock. When sufficient booze is registered in sweat from the driver’s palm by the gear stick, the car simply can’t be started until another driver tries his hand.

Should a drunk driver somehow get things moving, there’s also a driving behavior monitor that issues an audio alert when the car moves erratically, also tightening the seatbelt to gain the driver’s attention.

Lastly, a facial-recognition system uses a dashboard camera to keep tabs on the driver’s alertness. When it judges that her eyes have been closed too long, it sounds an alarm and again tightens the seatbelt.

(Crossposted to Tech.co.uk)

12:52 AM JMLH • Permalink
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