#2230: Harnessteer

I get concerned by people squinting at mobile phones as they drive. The last time I was in San Francisco, the minibus driver who picked me up was using two mobiles, a walkie talkie, a GPS navigation device and a speed trap warning alert…pretty much simultaneously.

In order to lessen the cognitive load of people trying to travel using a GPS system, today’s invention is a new form of seatbelt.


Instead of having to look away from the road to see some tiny screen or listen to a hectoring electronic voice, the lapstrap would be driven leftwards in advance of a next-left turn, and vice versa.

This communication method would soon become second nature, so that the feeling of the strap’s motion would form an integral part of the motor memories of normal driving -without any decrease in safety (since it provides an important extra incentive to buckle in).

This approach might require a larger inertia reel of belt material, but the average journey would have equal amounts of left and right turning, leading to no large-scale imbalance between storage cannisters.

It might start to feel as if one knew where one was going, even on totally unfamiliar streets.


  1. with respect to the navigation, I thought about a stereo surround 3D navigation so that you hear the voice from the direction in which you have to go.

    • I think this is quite cool. I suggested something similar once for inside astronaut helmets. I guess it would need to be loud enough to drown out engine and radio noise etc. Might be interesting to actually arrange for the engine and/or radio sound to seem to come from the direction towards which you should be heading.
      Thanks Rob

  2. I like the buckle id, I really believe it will work.

  3. Connect the voice of the navigation to the audio system (Bluetooth is your friend 😉 and you can come from any corner as most cars are four speaker driven;)

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