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Electronic Back-Seat Driver System to Be Tested

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LONDON (Reuters) - Drivers may soon have no excuse for ignoring road signs.

Australian scientists have invented an electronic driver's assistant system, similar to the back-seat driver who forever points out road signs and warns against speeding.

"The Australian invention is part of a global effort to make drivers more aware of road signs, especially those concerned with safety," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

The new driver's assistance system (DAS) developed by National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA) in Canberra detects road signs and warns drivers to slow down.

"DAS uses three cameras: one to scan the road ahead and a pair to monitor where the driver is looking," the magazine said.

A computer system fitted behind the dashboard collates the information with data on the speed the car is going.

If it appears the driver has not seen a sign or has not slowed down, a warning is issued.

In preliminary tests, DAS performed "pretty well" even at high speeds, according to its developers. They plan to test it in full-scale road trials with many types of road signs soon.

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