Ford develops new device to keep lorry drivers awake

If a motorist falls asleep at the wheel, it can cause a major accident – if the driver of a 44-tonne HGV does the same, it can cause catastrophe. To help prevent incidents like this occurring, the Brazilian arm of Ford has come up with a high-tech wearable device which will wake up a driver if it detects they're about to nod off.

The SafeCap looks just like a baseball cap, but hides an accelerometer and a gyroscope which can detect a driver's head movements. It's able to differentiate between intentional change, like checking the instrument panel or mirrors, and the pronounced head droop of a tired driver.

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When the SafeCap senses the driver is about to nod off, it uses sound, vibration, and flashing lights to wake them up – after which, the driver would hopefully find a safe place to pull over and catch a few winks.

The cap is currently only a prototype, and it's not clear whether Ford intends to manufacture it on a wider scale.

"SafeCap, which began as a local market project, continues to grow as we see potential around the world," said Oswaldo Ramos, Ford's head of sales, marketing and service in Brazil.

"After we conclude our Brazilian tests, the goal is to share with other countries."

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