Perhaps we should ask video gamers, who have long been accustomed to getting haptic feedback about what is happening around them. In recent years, we've started to see some of these ideas migrating into real road going cars, particularly through the steering wheel. It's increasingly common for lane departure warning and prevention systems to provide some vibration back through the wheel.
Researchers at Yale University Engineering School are trying a different approach that should be able to alert every driver no matter what they are doing or where they are looking. The team has installed small vibrating motors into a car seat to provide feedback when sensing systems determine that another car is too close.
Using an array of 20 actuators from cell phones, the seat provides indications of where a car is approaching from. For example, a vehicle in the right side blind spot would shake the right side of the seat. A car closing from behind would move the middle of the seat. No automakers have announced there intention to use such a system yet, but we wouldn't be surprised to see something within the next few years.