Help and guidance for a sensor technology project!!!

Hello, I am working on a project that involves advanced knowledge in mechatronics and sensor technologies; I would appreciate some help and guidance! So this is pretty much it: We want to reduce car accidents through a device. It will be inside the car and we want it to recognize and notify (through an alarm) whenever the driver unhands the hand wheel. We did some research and found some sensor technologies (Softkinetic DepthSense), sensors that can detect movement, which actually works for our purpose, but the size doesn’t work for us because we want a small device.

What do you think we would need to create the device? Would you suggest apply another sensor technology?

We are open to any suggestion and we will really appreciate it. Thank you!

How about just 2 loops of wire (or multiple pairs), the drivers hand/finger acts as a short between pairs so you can sense if there is contact. (or a piece of metallic tape ...)

I think I saw on the news some months ago where some high school students in the US had just such a device. I don't remember what their solution was, but maybe if you can find info on it there will be something to learn there. I do remember that they had it patented and were trying to go to market with it.

EDIT: Actually I don't think it was the news. I think it was on that show "Shark Tank"

CrossRoads: How about just 2 loops of wire (or multiple pairs), the drivers hand/finger acts as a short between pairs so you can sense if there is contact. (or a piece of metallic tape ...)

Hello! First, thank you so much for answering. It sounds really interesting, and actually we thought about that solution, but we think that it will require some kind of envelop to the steering wheel that would affect the esthetic of the interior of the car. The thing is, that the industrial design of the product is a very important factor in our project.

ceciruz: Hello! First, thank you so much for answering. It sounds really interesting, and actually we thought about that solution, but we think that it will require some kind of envelop to the steering wheel that would affect the esthetic of the interior of the car. The thing is, that the industrial design of the product is a very important factor in our project.

You're not going to be able to do this without adding something to the steering wheel. I guess you could use cameras somehow but that seems way more complicated and definitely outside the range of what can be done with Arduino.

How about (ultraviolet? laser?) light beam sensors horizontally across the car, if one of the drivers hands is not in place breaking one or more beams at all times have an alarm. (or a mannequin's hand velcro'd to the wheel for long trips ...)