Audi is working on a platform called Audi Fit Driver that uses your fitness tracker to monitor important vital parameters such as heart rate and skin temperature while you are driving. The ultimate goal is to increase safety by working out if you are are experiencing stress or fatigue.
Vehicle sensors supplement data from your fitness tracker with information on driving style, breathing rate and relevant environmental data such as weather or traffic conditions. From there, the car tries to relax you through for example massages, changes to air conditioning and lighting levels.
If it detects that your stress levels are too high, the platform will initiate a video tutorial in the cockpit for a specially designed breathing exercise. This is something that has already been employed in performance sports and medicine with some success.
The system will also assess the current traffic flow when recommending a break, allowing you to relax at the nearest rest area instead of being stuck in traffic. It will even go so far as to stop the car if it suspects the driver is incapable of continuing and place an emergency call via the eCall system.
“More than ever, health and fitness are becoming top priorities in our daily life,” said Audi board member for sales and marketing, Dietmar Voggenreiter.
“With the fully connected car, we are creating the time and space to respond to this need while also driving. Automotive health is an outstanding example of the many opportunities that digitalization opens up for us.”
There are several other companies working in this area. For example, Ford Motor Company worked for several years on a project that would incorporate heart rate sensors into seats, but scrapped it last year. We wrote recently about Faurecia, which is working on an Active Wellness seat that employs unique types of sensors to detect the heart, breathing rhythm of drivers and/or occupants and other data.
Originally announced at CES 2016, the Audi system is currently in testing, but the developers say they will be ready to roll the platform for real-world testing in the near future.
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