Nissan's sweat-sensing car seats to spot dehydrated drivers

According to Loughborough University and the European Hydration Institute, dehydrated drivers are just as dangerous as drunk ones

Nissan has teamed up with Dutch design studio Droog to develop special seats and steering wheels that detect sweat and dehydration in a bizarre new development in health and safety on the roads.

The technology is called Soak, and works by changing the seat's colour if perspiration from the person’s body is high in salt - a giveaway sign of dehydration. If the seat turns yellow that means the person behind the wheel is dehydrated, but if it changes to dark blue the driver is refreshed. Droog, the design company based in Amsterdam, developed the textile that reacts to the sweat on contact and changes colour accordingly.

The development is in reaction to a 2015 study conducted by the European Hydration Institute and Loughborough University, which found that dehydrated drivers behind the wheel are as error-prone as drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 per cent, which is the current UK drink-drive limit. 

Of the back of the new technology, Nissan is encouraging motorists to drink and drive - drink water that is. The Nissan-Droog technology was fitted onto a Nissan Juke for demonstration purposes, however there are currently no plans to implement it in road cars. The Soak exercise came about to simply show the world what Nissan are capable of in terms of innovation and safety technology.

Do you want car seats that change colour when you get a sweat on? Have your say in the comments...

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