Do you feel that drivers these days on the roads are not as skillful as before, simply because there are far too many technological advances in vehicles these days that make drivers ‘dumb’. After all, how many of us have grown to be dependent on a GPS navigation system over the years? Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs have worked together to come up with an experimental system which will be able to convey navigational cues via vibrations in the steering wheel. This haptic-feedback-providing steering wheel is definitely not the first of its kind, as scientists from the University of Utah have walked down a similar path before, offering a wheel that tugs on the skin of the driver’s fingers to inform them of the right way to turn.

This AT&T-designed wheel will be unique and different from what has been released in the past, where it features 20 vibrating actuators located within its rim, and these vibrating actuators can be programmed to “fire” in any order, so if you need to hang a right, then actuators will fire in a clockwise direction, and vice versa should you be headed to your left. Tests have shown that a combination of haptic and auditory cues, while doing away with a navigation device’s display, enabled the drivers to concentrate more on the road, which might potentially be the safer thing to do.

Filed in Transportation. Read more about AT&T.

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