Hoffmann-Krippner Enables the Smart Steering Wheel Innovative Sensing Technology for Automotive and Controller Applications
Smart Steering Wheels for Cars and Trucks Recognize Drowsy or Incapacitated Drivers
Hoffmann – Krippner Inc., in cooperation with Guttersberg Consulting, announced that their innovative SensoFoil sensing technology now can measure sensitivity in addition to position.
By using enhanced SensoFoil to measure pressure, car and vehicle manufacturers can add an extra level of safety to their steering wheels. During normal driving, the operator is constantly moving their hands on the steering wheel, changing pressure as the fingers grip the wheel. However, by using Hoffmann-Krippner’s SensoFoil inside the steering wheel, the vehicle can now sense if the driver’s hands are now longer moving – if the operator has fallen asleep with their hands on the wheel or if their hands are no longer on the wheel. This can trigger the correct safety protocol to either wake up the driver or to implement corrective measures.
Traffic experts claim that about 25% of all accidents are caused by extreme fatigue while driving. This makes nodding-off, also referred to as “micro-sleep“, in combination with heart attacks, as the leading cause of accidents, exceeding the number of accidents caused by alcohol and drugs.
Once alerted by the Smart Steering Wheel, the car can try to wake the driver or take over control and steer the vehicle to a safe stop along the road. In case of medical emergency, the car could even drive itself to the closest medical emergency center while sending out an alert to the appropriate authorities.
The sensor can also be programmed for pressure in certain locations. This can be used in a vehicle to control various location, emergency, entertainment or communication systems. This same feature can be used in game controllers, aircraft, etc., as an economical way to add additional programmable capabilities to a controller or joystick device without the need for extra buttons or dials.
“Pressure Sensing SensoFoil cost effectively provides extra features and capabilities to a diverse range of products,” says Jens Kautzor, CEO of Hoffman + Krippner, Inc. “In addition, this sensing technology requires very little external energy since power consumption is very low. The sensor system is insensitive to electromagnetic radiation and therefore ideal for the automotive, aerospace and medical sectors.”
The Hoffmann + Krippner Group, with sales offices around the globe, specializes in input and output systems as well as sensors. Headquartered in Germany, Hoffmann + Krippner has manufactured German-engineered, high quality products for over 35 years. As the North American member of the Group, Hoffmann + Krippner, Inc. delivers these engineering, design and manufacturing services to the US and Canadian market.
As of 2014, Hoffmann + Krippner, Inc. has partnered with Altmann GmbH (manufacturer of high-precision potentiometers), Inelta GmbH (manufacturer of LVDT and load cells), and PIL GmbH (manufacturer of ultrasonic sensors).