It is estimated that about 100,000 crashes a year are caused by sleepyhead drivers. Now, scientists are combating driver fatigue by developing systems that monitor your level of alertness–and Nissan is hoping to wake you up with a blast of smell.

Scientists working together in American and India have created an in-car camera that senses when the driver begins to yawn…Once the yawn is detected, the driver can be notified that he or she should pull over and take a break.

That’s where Nissan’s new Forest AC steps in. Using an array of sensors, the car detects what mood you might be in and responds accordingly with aromatherapy…They also claim that if the car detects you are getting sleepy, it will blast you with scents designed to increase your attention.

Popular Science, July 27, 2009