Just in time for the US national “Drowsy Driving Awareness Day” today, Nissan is highlighting the fact that its new Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system is available on two of its most attention-getting vehicles – the 2015 Nissan Murano crossover and the upcoming 2016 Nissan Maxima sedan.
The issue of drowsy and inattentive driving has been the subject of recent studies by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) and AAA (formerly the American Automobile Association). Results of a November 2014 AAA survey, for example, suggest that drowsy drivers are involved in approximately 300,000 crashes each year – 6,400 of them fatal.
Nissan’s Driver Attention Alert system, which is standard in the 2015 Murano SL and Platinum grades and the 2016 Maxima Platinum, is intended to address potential driver fatigue and inattention. The system adapts to each individual driver, monitoring steering input patterns (using steering angle sensors) during a period of driving to establish a baseline. It continuously compares subsequent driving patterns to a baseline using a statistical analysis of steering correction errors.
If it detects driving behavior consistent with a drowsy driver, the system uses an audible chime sound and displays an amber coffee cup with a message reading, “Take a break?” in the vehicle’s information display.
The DAA includes logic to help address false detection, road curvatures, lane changes, braking and even poor road conditions. The system automatically resets when the engine is turned off. It can also be turned off by the driver if desired. It is the driver’s responsibility to remain alert at all times. DAA is only a warning to inform the driver of a potential lack of driver attention or drowsiness. It does not detect and provide an alert in every situation.