STUTTGART, GERMANY – Mercedes-Benz will roll out its new Attention Assist, which warns drivers that they are getting drowsy, on vehicles in spring 2009, according to Mercedes-Benz said that the system, using sensors and computer data, is able to generate “an individual driver profile,” thus enabling it to almost immediately recognize the driver’s shift from alertness to drowsiness. The system compiles data on driving patterns the moment drivers slide behind the wheel, and it can adjust to a variety of drivers almost instantly.


If the vehicle recognizes that the driver is slipping toward what the German automaker calls the “dangerous one-second nap,” it sounds an acoustic signal and lights up a display in the instrument panel. The system literally tells the driver, “Attention Assist. Brake!”

Mercedes-Benz said the system not only takes into account vehicle speed and linear/lateral acceleration, it also tracks steering wheel movements, indicator and pedal operation and uneven road surfaces.

There is no word yet on how much the system will add to the price of a new vehicle.