The boffins at SEAT haven’t been shirking, it appears, after the Spanish car firm announced significant advances in vehicle-generated information technology.

Demonstrated at the ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) Congress in London, SEAT today presented a special Leon, featuring a raft of technological innovations developed over two and a half years in response to the European Union’s ambitious AIDE project (Adaptive Integrated Driver-vehicle Interface).

The idea is to create a technology platform that increases driving safety by drawing from available vehicle-generated information regarding surroundings, vehicle and driver. This, it is hoped, will produce a car intelligent enough to make decisions on its own that affect driving safety.

The specially adapted Leon notifies its driver when it senses danger on the road ahead, via a light on the dashboard and an audible warning. The vehicle also emits a warning sound and sends vibrations through the steering wheel if it detects that the driver is falling asleep. Also, if an incoming mobile phone call is detected while the car is on a roundabout, the vehicle recognises the situation and puts the call on hold until exiting the junction.

Information is gathered using sensors that monitor the driver’s eye movement and blink frequency, a radar to detect objects ahead, GPS and a specially designed communication network.