Every time we turn around, auto manufacturers are developing loads of new displays and sensors
. At what point does the driver hit sensory overload? That's the question that prompted John Morrell, an Associate Professor at Yale School of Engineering, to position twenty vibrating cellphone motors in a rectangular array inside the driver's seat. Several different warnings were devised, including positional warnings (someone approaching closely behind will set off the center of the array, while a car approaching from the left or right will set off the motors on your left or right, respectively). Preliminary tests were done on a simulator based on The Open Racing Car Simulator (TORCS) platform, and so far things look promising. "[T]he vibrotactile feedback improved drivers' performance over that attained by using the rearview mirror alone," according to Gizmag
, "and also helped warn of vehicles hidden by the mirror blind spot." Now, if this could do double duty as a massage chair? Then we'd be onto something.