Studies show that one in four of those in relationships sleep better alone* And over time, sleep deprivation increases the risk of injury and accidents at home, work, and on the road**

But if the idea of separate beds doesn’t appeal – a phenomenon now so popular there is even a recognised trend for so-called ‘sleep divorces’ – what’s the alternative?

One solution could be Ford’s ‘Lane-Keeping Bed’ which applies car tech know-how to ensure even the most selfish bedmate stays firmly ‘in their lane’ through the night.

Available in most Ford vehicles, Lane-Keeping Aid monitors the road markings ahead, and actively supports the driver to safely guide the vehicle back into the correct lane by ‘nudging’ the steering wheel in the correct direction; this complements other camera‑based systems which help drivers avoid inadvertently straying out of their lane.

This technology inspired the ‘Lane-Keeping Bed’ which uses pressure sensors to identify when someone has strayed from their side of the bed, and gently returns them to where they should be with the help of an integrated conveyor belt.

“When sleeping together, many couples each have less space than a small child has in a single bed,” says independent sleep expert and author, Dr Neil Stanley. “Humans are most vulnerable when sleeping, so we’re programmed to wake when something or someone touches us unexpectedly. If someone moves onto your side of the bed, this defence mechanism will kick in and you’ll have a broken night, often while they continue to sleep soundly. I’ve seen it ruin relationships.”

“Lane-Keeping Aid in our cars can make driving easier and more comfortable,” says Anthony Ireson, Director of Marketing Communications, Ford of Europe. “We thought that showing how similar thinking could be applied to a bed would be a great way for us to highlight a technology that drivers may not previously have been aware of.”

Whilst this prototype isn’t available in South Africa, the ‘Lane-Keeping Bed’ is part of a series of Ford Interventions which showcases Ford’s progressive strides and how we are able to apply automotive expertise to tackle everyday – or in this case, every night – problems.

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