Ford Introduces New Auto Technology That Monitors The Health of Drivers
September 17, 2015
Over the past few years, society has grown increasingly health conscious. In fact, many people continuously keep tabs on their physical health and well-being. Wearable technology, like the Fitbit band, has made it very simple to maintain a healthy lifestyle, since the tool acts as a heart rate monitor, step tracker and more. And, it looks as though this trend is now starting to move toward the automotive industry.
Ford has recently acquired a patent for new automotive technology that monitors changes in a driver’s health while he or she is behind the wheel. The patent is titled Medical data acquisition and provision and Ford’s new system could be implemented using specialized software along with several sensors.
The technology will also allow drivers to transmit their health data to healthcare providers and could be a great solution for anyone with a serious medical condition.
If you’re planning to enroll in auto technology courses, or you have recently started your program, read on to learn more about Ford’s newly acquired patent.
A Closer Look At Ford’s Health Monitoring Auto Technology
Ford’s new auto technology will allow its cars to obtain a complete picture of a driver’s health status through sensors that will be featured on steering wheels, seat belts, steering columns and seats.
Conductive sensors (similar to those found on exercise machines) will be featured on a car’s steering wheel to measure any changes in the driver’s heart rate. In addition, steering wheels will have infrared sensors that monitor a driver’s facial temperature.
A downward-facing infrared sensor will be located under the steering column in order to measure the vehicle’s cabin temperature and pick up on any sudden changes in the driver’s body heat. In addition, seatbelts will feature a technology called a “piezoelectric” sensor. This sensor will measure and assess the rate of the driver’s breathing.
Combining Auto Technologies Could Potentially Save Lives
Ford intends for the Medical data acquisition and provision system to work hand-in-hand with already existing wireless communication and driving assistance technologies. This combination of internal and external technology could be life-saving for drivers with medical conditions.
For example, if someone were to have a seizure while driving, a vehicle featuring the new technology would be able to detect the incident, steer out of harm’s way and park. In such an emergency, the technology would even be able to contact paramedics.
For less extreme cases, the system could warn drivers and their doctors if it picks up on a problem. According to Ford’s patent, if a driver’s healthcare provider wants to gain access to their medical data, the vehicle owner would be required to grant permission first. Then, the system would be able to wirelessly send the information.
Professionals in auto industry careers will probably be waiting awhile to get their hands on vehicles featuring this technology. This is because Ford only received its patent a few short weeks ago and the company has yet to release information regarding when the new tech will be incorporated into its vehicles.
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