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More Cars Implementing Haptic Features

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We have previously spoken about how Ford is using vibration motors in their steering wheels to warn drivers they are drifting across lanes. Having been implemented in many European brands, more American companies are catching on to the potential of implementing haptic feedback in their automobiles.

For example, AT&T has been working on taking the vibration technology in-game console steering wheel controllers and using it into real-life cars. The steering wheels are filled with tiny coin motors, then information is discretely relayed to the driver. Initially, it has been tested with GPS navigation systems. Aside from allowing the driver to keep their eyes on the road more, the need for audio directions was also reduced. The annoying beeps for turnings were replaced with discreet vibrations, the source of the vibrations also corresponded to the direction of the turning.

Cadillac has instead chosen to place the vibration motors in the seat of the driver, although theirs are more focused on providing safety information similar to Ford. The seat can rumble on either side or all over and can be used in conjunction with additional audio alerts. The vibrating driver seat alerts them to a variety of dangerous situations, such as getting too close to walls/other cars or drifting lanes.

It’s fairly easy to mount and connect vibration motors in either the wheel or the seat, in fact, we’ve suggested methods in our Application Bulletins. Even powering and driving them is much simpler than figuring out how to analyse the car’s environment.

View from above of a 2013 Cadillac XTS and shows the side blind zone alerts placed along the sides and across the rear of the car.
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