The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off this week in Las Vegas, and one of the early crowd favorites is a steering wheel cover designed to promote safe driving and prevent accidents caused by texting and other distractions. TJ Evarts and a team of young inventors first developed the SMARTwheel a few years ago and received offers from backers on the television show Shark Tank, but later decided to tackle the project on their own. Now, as CEO of the company, Evarts is demonstrating how the wheel cover uses smart technology to hopefully save lives.

As Evarts explains in the video above, the SMARTwheel uses linear potentiometers and a special algorithm to determine if a driver's hands are placed at the correct positions on the steering wheel (at "ten and two"). When a hand is out of place or removed from the wheel entirely, the green light at the top of the wheel turns red and an alarm is triggered. Targeted toward teen drivers, the wheel cover is also connected to a mobile application that tracks a driver's performance and gives him or her a score that parents can monitor.

SMARTwheel on IndieGoGo

SMARTwheel on IndieGoGo


According to Mashable, SMARTwheel should be available later this year for $199. For updates and to learn more about the product, head to SMARTwheelUSA.com.

[h/t and banner image: Mashable]