A study of the gadget in driving simulators, by AT&T Labs researchers and collaborators at Carnegie Mellon University, found that it provided clear benefits: participants’ eyes stayed on the road longer. When younger drivers—with an average age of 25—used the haptic steering wheel along with the usual visual and auditory methods of receiving navigation instructions, their inattentiveness (defined as the proportion of time their eyes were off the road) dropped 3.1 percent. That study did not find any benefit for older drivers, but a different one did. When haptics were added to auditory-only instructions, the inattentiveness of older drivers (above age 65) dropped 4 percent. Overall, “by adding the haptic feedback we can lead to more attentive driving,” says SeungJun Kim, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon who participated in the study. The paper has not yet been published, but it will be presented this June at this conference.