Halo Technology Joins the Fight against Distracted Driving

  Distracted driving, an auto industry top priority, has a new opponent. The auto supplier, Continental, has developed a new, eye catching alert system to fight distracted driving.  The system utilizes interior lights that direct the drivers eyes to the road. It has been dubbed the Halo system.

The Halo is the latest of many attempts by all auto supplies to develop a technology to impact the issue of distracted driving. Vehicles in this century are more safety efficient than ever. Brakes an acceleration are automated by digital sensors that send messages to the cars brain. Steering can also be automated to correct mistakes by a distracted driver.

Dave Sullivan, a researcher from Ann Arbor's Auto Pacific explained that once a person finds a way to put all these safety technologies in one package it will the silver bullet that's so needed in the auto industry. The problem arises when all the different safety packages come from different suppliers.

The Halo was first tested in Germany in a Driver Focus vehicle, the 2013 Cadillac XTS. Researchers at the University of Darmstadt in Germany tested the product. Experts agree that work in the field is imperative with 1,100 deaths a day in the United States attributable to distracted driving.

Most of the deaths are reported to be from texting while driving and cell phone use in general. Deaths have also been caused insects in the car, adjusting the radio, temperature or navigation issues and eating while driving. Drivers get distracted with to much information on hand to process. What many people do not realize is that if too little stimuli is available, drivers daydream, which is also considered distracted driving.

Current safety devices to curb distracted drivers already exists. They all use a variety of noises like chirps and tweets and tones. Other types use vibrating seats and steering wheels. Others still incorporate a slowing mechanism that slows to the speed of the car in front and some will provide a steering nudge when the side of the road approaches.

So serious is the problem of distracted driving that these safety features once only for luxury vehicles is now being installed on increasing numbers of mainstream cars like the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Equinox. 

The difference in the Halo and the other systems is that researchers feel there is less added distraction as the lights only appear when needed. Having less distracting lights, sounds and visuals until they are actually needed is beneficial and increases effectiveness.

The focus now has become how to reduce false positive readings and integrate the various systems into one streamlined system. Sullivan also explained that drivers have more parts of the car that need attention now. Bringing it all together is the best way to reduce distracted driving statistics. 

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