Ford this week announced it is partnering with MIT's AgeLab on a project to identify specific stress-inducing driving situations, monitor a driver's reaction to the situations using biometrics, and evaluate methods to incorporate new stress-reducing features into the next generation of Ford products. The six-month effort will begin in January and will focus on human interaction with a specially equipped 2010 Lincoln MKS.
Ford's goal for the program is to take this a step further by creating the most comfortable driving environment possible so that the driver is always relaxed and calm.
By using the Lincoln MKS, MIT AgeLab researchers will have a rolling test vehicle loaded with innovations such as the Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support, MyKey, Voice-Activated Navigation, and Sync.
Since 2004, Ford and MIT's AgeLab--in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation's New England University Transportation Center--have been working to develop vehicle systems that detect the stress level of the driver at key points in time. The goal is to use the information to adjust systems in the car in ways that reduce driver stress.