Ford’s European Research and Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany is currently developing a car seat that is able to detect heart attacks through any clothing material. The seat is built with six embedded sensors that have electrodes that are able to alert the necessary authorities to provide assistance to the driver if higher than usual activity is detected.
Similar to the traditional ECG, the Ford car seat is able to monitor heart activity but instead of using wires attached to the body from a machine, it uses the sensors built in the seat. The seats electrodes are also being customized to ensure that it suits all materials, body shapes and sizes.
It is said that 23 percent of drivers with cardiovascular disease and 52 percent of drivers suffering from angina, are likely to be involved in road accidents. The system by Ford therefore aims at detecting the increase heart activity that would occur before impact to then notify the driver via a display message that they will need to pull over. Once the electrodes detect an irregular increase of heart activity, response teams will be immediately informed of the condition before, during or after an incident occurs.
When the Ford heart rate monitoring car seats sense an attack, existing Ford systems such as Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Active City Stop, Driver Alert and Speed Limiter could also be activated to avoid the consequences of a driver losing control of the vehicle.