Mazda filed a patent application this week that might help all the drivers in the world who can’t take their eyes off Instagram or their email for a moment.
Noticed by Jalopnik contributor Bozi Tatarevic, the patent filing lays out a really interesting concept to stop driver distraction: a sensor suite would be used to detect when a driver is engaged, and then the car would provide navigation routes along those roads.
The idea of being watched by your car sounds weird, but when Mazda explains it, the system sounds fairly straightforward:
When finding the driver distracted from driving (such as looking aside), this system provides driving assistance that enhances his or her motivation to drive by encouraging him or her to drive actively and thereby increase his or her focus on driving.
The filing continues:
Examples of specific driving assistance include giving exemplary driving instructions to the driver, providing him or her with navigation to a road with features that would entertain him or her through driving, and improving sensitivity to any change in the vehicle’s state responsive to driving operations.
As these things go, a patent application’s an idea being put to paper by a company. It’s anyone’s guess if Mazda has any intention of putting this technology into cars down the line.
But it’s an interesting idea to tackle the obvious problem with distracted driving, which caused more than 3,400 deaths in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That alone is enough of a reminder to keep your eyes on the road while behind the wheel.