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AT&T to Create Haptic Feedback Steering Wheel for GPS Nav.

We all know how dangerous it is to text and drive, but keeping your eyes glued to the GPS system on your phone isn't going to be much safer. If you aren't a fan of GPS voice commands, AT&T Labs' alternative may be a viable solution. Collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University, AT&T has come up with its own solution: a steering wheel with haptic feedback.

The idea involves a number of distinct vibrations that correspond to different driving directions, such as a counterclockwise vibration to signal an upcoming left turn or a clockwise vibration to signal an upcoming right turn.  Equipped with 20 actuators, the steering wheel concept hopes to keep your eyes focused on the road and not on your GPS unit.

According to studies conducted with the concept, drivers with an average age of 25 spent 3.1 percent more time with their eyes focused on the road than on their GPS device. The exact same test didn't provide any significant results in users over 65 years of age, but found these users spent 4 percent more time focused on the road when using audio GPS cues. Although it'll be difficult to incorporate all of the GPS directions and cues into a vibrating steering wheel, perhaps integration with new vehicles and GPS systems may be able to make the roads just a little bit safer.