Trying on Ford’s Sleep Suit at the Canadian International Auto Show – All Hands on Tech

Driving while tired can be extremely dangerous, which is why Ford made the SleepSuit to simulate the feeling of drowsiness behind the wheel. Thank you for turning into ITWC, let’s take a look at what it’s all about.

The SleepSuit is actually a set of weighted gear. It includes a weighted vest, cap, and limb braces which are supposed to make drivers feel the strain of moving their limbs when drowsy. Altogether, the set weighs 18 kg or just under 40 pounds. The extra weight makes moving, let alone driving, much harder.

That’s not all that’s special; the SleepSuit also uses a pair of tinted goggles which mimic the absence of awareness during microsleep. When enabled, the lenses turn pitch black and completely blocks vision. Sound scary? This is a phenomenon that actually happens in traffic!

After donning the weights, every tester is put through a mini obstacle course where they must respond to changing signs while the goggles switch between transparent and opaque. When I tried it, the added weights and the obstructed vision made reacting to “stop” and “go” commands extremely difficult.

The SleepSuit is already in use to educate young drivers on the risks of sleep deprivation. Ford is placing more emphasis on younger drivers because they tend to do over-night study sessions and force themselves to stay awake for social events. But adults who overwork experience similar strain, which is why the sleep suit can be tremendously helpful for all drivers.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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