Fatigue causes more than 100,000 crashes annually on roads in the United States; Mercedes-Benz has rushed in to make the world’s first drowsy-driver detection system standard on the new 2010 E-class sedan. Mercedes claims the Attention Assist System is an independent judge of fatigue, constantly monitoring a driver’s behavior to send warning chimes and flare a coffee-cup sign when it senses a serious drop-off in alertness levels.
Mercedes-Benz was announced the winner of the 2010 prize for best safety innovation by “What Car?” for their Attention Assist System, which is designed to counteract drowsiness in drivers. Similar to trends in the United States, driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of accidents in Europe, resulting in a quarter of all motorway accidents. The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class models will combat fatigue with the help of an array of sensors measuring over 70 parameters relating to driving behavior. If the system detects the driver is at risk of dozing off, it will produce a warning alert by means of an audible signal and a message on the display in the instrument cluster.