Ford is developing a driver's seat with an embedded heart-rate monitor capable of picking up pulses through material and various layers of clothing.
Developed in conjunction with Ford's European Research and Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany and the Aachen University Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH), the technology will be capable of constantly checking a driver's heart activity.
Using six sensors that are placed at varying heights to suit different drivers, the monitor could potentially find abnormalities related to heart conditions, or provide an early warning sign if the driver is about to have a heart attack. Ford European Research and Innovation Centre medical officer, Dr Achim Lindner, recently spoke about the technology:
"Although currently still a research project, the heart rate monitor technology developed by Ford and RWTH Aachen University could prove to be a hugely important breakthrough for Ford drivers, and not just in terms of the ability to monitor the hearts of those known to be at risk.""As always in medicine, the earlier a condition is detected the easier it is to treat and this technology even has the potential to be instrumental in diagnosing conditions drivers were previously unaware they had."
The new seat is the latest in a range of in-car health technologies which are being developed by Ford. Last week, the company announced it was developing an in-car blood sugar level monitor for diabetic motorists. The system uses a continuous glucose monitor to relay levels onto the car's infotainment screen.
Ford says this heart-rate monitoring technology will be most useful for motorists with known heart conditions and elderly drivers.
Take a look at the video below by Ford for more details.