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The car seat of the future will be able to detect the traveler’s drowsiness or stress and then take countermeasures to relieve those conditions.
First revealed at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show, Faurecia’s Active Wellness seat employs unique types of sensors to detect the heart, breathing rhythm of drivers and/or occupants and other data.
It then provides a very specific massage pattern, along with air flow through the seat’s ventilation system, either to re-energize a tired occupant or to relax a stressed individual. The system capitalizes on the car seat’s distinct position as a location for capturing occupants’ emotional status and enhancing their wellbeing.
“What matters most is to provide just a little bit of biofeedback. It’s just a way to communicate to the user, to say – hey, we noticed that you’re stressed. Be aware of that.” said Jim Hotary, director of Faurecia’s xWorks Innovation Center.
Faurecia sees the seat as part of a larger ecosystem of connected devices, including wearable technology that monitors a user’s health.
“If you just went on a run and you’re back inside the vehicle, we can take that and turn on the cooling system to help cool you down, and maybe do that before you even get into the vehicle,” he says.
We may see this technology in cars as early as 2018. The Active Wellness will be fitted into luxury vehicles initially to meet the growing demand for custom comfort solutions. The technology could then make its way to other forms of transport. Commercial trucking is just one example where this technology is well-suited and necessary.
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