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Drive to your heartbeat

Denso shows off a heart rate monitor built into a steering wheel at the 2007 Tokyo auto show.

Denso in-car heart rate monitor.
Denso's steering wheel measures our heart rate. CNET Networks

Although a standard feature of gym equipment, do we need cardiac monitors in our cars? Denso thinks so, displaying this steering wheel-integrated monitor at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. When you grip the wheel, metal strips set into its rim use the contact with your hands to measure your heartbeat. We gave it a try, and it worked quickly, showing our heart rate on a screen. The health of drivers is obviously important for safety, because if someone is going into cardiac arrest behind the wheel, they would take out a dozen more people. Denso's monitor could be hooked into systems that would bring the car to a safe stop and automatically call emergency services if it detected a problem with the driver.