Surrey University scientists have developed a soft and skin-friendly self-powered sensor to identify potentially dangerous driver behavior.
Made from recycled plastic cups and silk cocoon waste, these sensors are based on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) that harvests the freely available mechanical energy from daily human activities.
When applied in a car setting – and backed by an AI system, the smart sensor could flag potentially dangerous driving trends, including slow brake reaction times.
The highly flexible and biocompatible sensor could either be used as a wearable item on clothing or placed within the fabric of the steering wheel, horn, gear stick and brake pedal.
“We are all excited by how AI will influence future consumer electronics, but this future must also be friendly to our planet’s environment,” notes principal author of the study, Dr Bhaskar Dudem.
“Our recycled silk-based smart sensor technology is a hint of what the future holds and, with support from industry, we believe we can soon bring it to market.”
According to corresponding author and Surrey professor Ravi Silva, though the sensors were used to test monitor driver behavior, they could be harnessed to power driverless cars and other Industry 4.0 automation systems.
Image and content: Carnegie Mellon University/University of Surrey