Wake up and get some sleep
We travelled to New York to discover how drivers stay alert behind the wheel in the city that never sleeps.
New York, New York
Yet standing still, or stuck, is mostly what we do. In a car. In traffic. Between vehicles, commuters, tourists and skyscrapers towering above us. Perhaps the question is not when but where do they take their breaks in a city where space is the real currency? Heading down Lexington Avenue, my driver points out some of the relief stands the city has to offer. But with 14,000 yellow cabs in Manhattan alone, they are hard to come by, which is why some drive to the airports in order to get a good rest.
Stop for a cup of joe
Let’s change culture
It brings up a big question: Should people really have the responsibility for transporting others? Airline pilots switch on autopilot just after take-off and keep it on until the final approach to reduce workload and ensure the safest, most comfortable flight for the passengers. And on the road we know most accidents are caused by the human factor. The latest Volvo cars come equipped with an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, which is a step towards a future with driverless cars.
In any case, a fully autonomous reality is perhaps a human generation away. But until then we need to wake up, get some proper sleep and put an end to drowsy driving.
3 ways we can help you stay awake and on the right track
Driver Alert Control
Intended primarily for use on long stretches of road where tiredness can take over, Driver Alert Control detects when a driver begins to drive less consistently. An on-board camera compares the road markings with the drivers steering wheel movements. If the car does not follow the markings, the system sends an alert to the driver.
Lane Keeping Aid
Lane Keeping Aid senses when a driver loses concentration or control of the car in some way. If the system detects a driver is not in control, e.g. if they begin to stray across lane markings, Lane Keeping Aid gently steers the car back into the right lane. If steering intervention is not enough, the driver is warned by vibrations in the steering wheel or a warning sound.
Rest Stop Guidance
New Volvo cars are fitted with a number of innovations designed to help drivers stay alert on the road. And these functions are often designed to work together. For example, if the Driver Alert Control function senses you are in need of a rest, the Rest Stop Guidance function will provide you with directions to the nearest rest area.