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Researchers Have Developed A Seat Belt That Can Sense When Drivers Are Falling Asleep

Europeans are developing a system that helps alert drivers when they're getting fatigued.

Last updated on August 24, 2014, at 6:02 p.m. ET

Posted on August 24, 2014, at 6:02 p.m. ET

Researchers at the Biomechanics Institute of Valencia (IBV) in Spain have developed a vehicle safety system they say can save lives.

The device detects signs of driver fatigue, which are involved in about third of all fatal accidents in Europe, according to a European safety commission.


The system is called HARKEN, short for Heart and Respiration In-Car Embedded Non-Intrusive Sensors, and is made up of a series of sensors in the driver's seat and seat belts.

HARKEN monitors changes in breathing and heart rates and alerts the drivers before symptoms of drowsiness or fatigue set in, said Jose Solaz, director of innovation markets in automobile and mass transportation at IBV.

The device, funded by a research branch of the European Union, is still in the testing phase, but is expected to be available in the near future.

Watch a video they released about the new technology:

View this video on YouTube

h/t Mashable