Ford has teamed up with a German university to develop a next-gen car seat that monitors a person's heart rate as they drive.
The fancy seat uses six sensors embedded on the surface of the backrest, according to the Independent. These detect the electrical impulses generated by the human heart before passing the data to a control unit that records and interprets the electronic "signature" of your ticker.
The seat, a joint project between Ford and Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University, is still being fine tuned. Researchers, however, have claimed it delivers highly accurate readings 98 per cent of the time -- even through clothing. The other 2 per cent, it falsely tells you you've flatlined, triggering a real heart attack. Just kidding.
Ford believes the system could be used for a variety of tasks. Combined with other data, such as a driver's weight, it could deliver a daily reminder of a person's physical wellbeing. It could also send that data to doctors or other health practitioners via Ford's Internet-enabled Sync in-car entertainment and information system, keeping medics updated on the state of a driver's heath.
The seats could also be used to prevent accidents. If mated to a vehicle's active safety systems, it could be used to stop or slow a car down if it detects a driver is about to have a heart attack, or if you've gone all swoony after spotting a heart-throb at a bus stop.
This isn't the first time Ford has dipped its automotive toes into the world of in-car health systems. The US automaker has also shown off an in-car glucose monitor, developed in conjunction with Medtronic, that keeps track of a driver's blood-sugar levels.
Bring it on, we say. Cars already do their utmost to keep us alive with seatbelts, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control systems, so having them keep an eye on our physical wellbeing is a logical step. Have a gander at the video below to see more.