Aware of the dangers of nodding off behind the wheel, Mercedes-Benz has developed a driver support system that recognises the early signs of driver fatigue and warns the driver that a break is needed.
Mercedes-Benz has developed Attention Assist since realising that drivers often fail to notice when they're overtired.
Within the first few minutes of a journey, the system monitors driving behaviour to generate an individual driver profile. This profile is then constantly monitored and compared to be able to recognise the driver's transition from alertness to drowsiness.
The system uses "an extremely sensitive sensor" that allows steering movements, and the speed at which adjustments are made, to be monitored.
Along with the steering wheel movements, the system also registers vehicle speed, indicator use, pedal operation and a number of external influences such as side winds or uneven road surfaces.
When typical signs of driver fatigue are identified, the system issues an acoustic signal and a display in the instrument cluster with the advice: "Attention Assist. Break!"
The system will be offered on production vehicles from the first half of 2009.