Ever have a panicked moment while trying to follow your GPS and navigate traffic at the same time? AT&T, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, have created a GPS-enabled, haptic steering wheel prototype that promises to eliminate the problem of having to split your attention; whether that means listening to or reading directions from your GPS device. The prototype instead utilizes your sense of touch, vibrating on either side of the wheel to guide navigation instructions.

Using 20 memory foam-mounted vibration actuators, the steering wheel sends pulses clockwise for right turns and counterclockwise for left turns. The engineers behind the prototype are also working on using the haptic sensors in the driver’s seat to send vibrations to the left and right of the body warning drivers of potential hazards in their blind spots.

[via The Verge]

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