Japanese carmaker Toyota has come up with a system that can rouse drivers before they completely drift off while behind the wheel.
Experts behind the novel system have revealed that it comprises a camera that watches the white lines on the road ahead to determine if and how fast the car is veering towards or away from them.
They reveal that an onboard computer decides whether that kind of manoeuvre is appropriate for the situation.
Just in case the system deems it potentially dangerous, it raises the alarm to wake the driver.
The researchers say that wobbling to and fro within a lane, or gradually veering across white lines while moving at a constant high speed will be an indication for the system that the driver had fallen asleep.
According to New Scientist magazine, if the driver is judged to be losing consciousness, the computer raises an alarm to wake the driver.
Though similar systems to alert drivers while white lines are crossed are already available in some cars, the researchers say that their novel system can reduce the likelihood of false alarms.
Not only can it stay quiet if there is a reason for the manoeuvres being performed, they add, but it can also wake a driver before a line is actually crossed.