So, if you spot a car approaching with an orange smiley face, relax. If the approaching vehicle has a glowing red hood, cut the driver some slack. If the hood is giving off pale blue, get out of the way. The car gets its name from a pod placed in the instrument panel. The pod contains prerecorded data on the acceleration, braking and steering habits of an expert driver under a variety of conditions. It "memorizes" the driver's like habits and driving style and provides words of praise or warning when the driver's behavior differs from the expert's.
For example, if you drive too fast or brake too hard, or swerve rather than steer smoothly, the lights on the hood turn from orange to raging red. The pod measures distance from the vehicle ahead, as well as the pulse and perspiration rate of the driver.
If the pod senses that the driver needs calming, it plays soothing music or blows cool air through vents. Keep an eye open for this one.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, send your questions to: "ASK A TROOPER," c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, MN State Patrol, P.O. Box 644, Brainerd MN 56401. Questions are edited.
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