Nissan UK is apparently encouraging drivers to drink and drive, explaining that not doing it can have drivers making as many mistakes as drunk drivers.
Ok, so the company is not talking about alcohol, but rather water, quoting a 2015 Loughborough University, UK study commissioned by the European Hydration Institute, which found that two thirds of drivers were unable to recognize symptoms of dehydration (tiredness, dizziness, headaches, and slower reaction times), that drivers who had less than 25 ml of water per hour made more than double the number of driving mistakes (including late braking, drifting in a lane or even crossing road lines) — errors equivalent to those displayed by drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%.
“While many athletes are well-versed on keeping hydrated, many people outside the sporting sphere remain unaware of the impact of dehydration on physiological performance,” said Dr. Harjo Haggar, medical consultant for NISMO, Nissan’s in-house tuning, motorsports and performance division.
To promote drivers’ maintaining suitable hydration levels, Nissan has come up with an innovative solution that ties in to the recent trend toward wearable technology, particularly in relation to the health and wellness industry.
The company teamed with Dutch design-brand Droog to create state of the art a sweat-sensing coating for the steering wheel and front seats in a Juke crossover. The coating changes colour when it’s in contact with perspiration, going from yellow when it’s dry to blue when it gets rehydrated.
“I originally created SOAK to be used on sports clothing,” said Droog researcher and designer Paulien Routs. “My vision is to create innovative solutions that aid the wearer in some way, using new technologies to bring function to fashion and textiles, as well as establishing new ways of interacting with our health and bodies.”
Nissan added that it has no plans to use SOAK sweat-sensing technology in the Juke or any of its vehicles, but simply wants to bring awareness to the dangers of driving dehydrated, and also to showcase the way it is investigating technologies to further vehicle occupant and road safety.