After focusing on various kinds of assistance- and detection systems for lanes, signposts en other traffic users, Ford is now aiming at the driver. The brand is developing a seat with a heart monitor that should be capable of avoiding accidents due to heart failure.
According to Ford, little attention is being paid to accidents that are ‘caused’ by the driver’s heart failure. Technicians of Ford’s European research centre are collaborating with the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule of the University of Aachen to find a solution. That solution would be a special type of seat with an internal heart monitor.
The prototype of this Ford-seat uses electrocardiographic (ECG) technology with which electrical impulses of the heart are being observed. In case of an irregular heart rhythm, the systems immediately sends a warning that tells the driver to consult a doctor, because he or she might suffer from a heart attack or other types of cardiovascular problems. It could serve as well to indicate symptoms of other ailments, like high blood pressure. When a normal ECG-scan is made, metal electrodes are attached to the skin at various spots on the skin. In Ford’s ECG-seat six sensors are built-in that scan through clothing and monitor the heart. Ford is also testing the prototype seat to figure out how this system could be integrated with other, existing advanced systems that warn drivers to pull down and call for medical assistance, if necessary by sending an emergency call. Attention is also being paid to the possibility of combining lane detection and Active City Stop with the ECG seat.