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The cars of the future will give you a massageFrom seats that measure your vital signs and massage you on command to autonomous driving and pedestrian warnings, the car of the future will be a comfy, if slightly bossy, place to be. Molly Wood checks out the R&D of Detroit for Always On.
-This week on Future Tech, the future of cars. Now, yeah, that's pretty awesome, but I think when you see what's coming from safety to performance to entertainment, you'll still be pretty impressed. -We hit the road to get a sneak peak at how car makers envision the car of tomorrow. -I'm here at Ford's Innovation Lab where they're figuring out the best way to adjust a seat and I mean 3 different interfaces including voice control to work on a seat that can even give you a massage. Okay. -Say a command. -Give me a massage. Totally is. This is awesome. -Say a command. -Recline seat backward. Woo. Okay. -Say a command. -Move seat back. -Say a command. -Move seat all the way down. I wanna be like and then I can cruise. The humble driver seat is also getting reinvented in other ways. The next frontier in driving is real time driver information. This seat is actually measuring my respiration. The steering wheel is measuring my heart rate whether I'm at all sweaty. The car can tell whether I'm distracted and then actually take steps to minimize those distractions. So far, I seemed to be doing okay. My heart beats per minute is 60. 90 breaths, the seatbelt can tell if I start to breath more heavily because I'm stressed out as a driver. Even if I don't think I'm stress, the car will know. I can't wait to see what it does with my road rage. It has temperature sensors to see if I get hot in the face. Maybe in the future, I could say like, "Sweetie I think you're getting a cold maybe you should go home." -Engineers are also coming up with innovative ways to make sitting in your car more comfortable using GiGi data-driven design. -So what I'm doing here is measuring seat ergonomics. I have these motion capture sensors on me and I'm gonna try to get into this very small little backseat of a car. Then, Ford will use that data to make sort of a digital human version of me that can help in figuring out better design for backseats so that I don't stick my knees in the back of the driver every time. There I am. It's a like a puppet. Oh my gosh, look at this! It's like an airplane seat. That's why I try to never seat in the backseat of any car. I look a lot more elegant as a digital human than I probably did as a real human. -Probably the coolest thing about the car of the future will be that it can drive itself. Concepts are already in existence. Google has it self-driving car and Stanford is racing an Audi TTS on a track hands-free. Well, you might not know is that incremental steps toward autonomous driving are also underway. At Ford, we talked to CTO Paul Mascarenas about the march of technology and the driving experience. -We're doing so, you know, one day we're gonna wake up and there's gonna be an autonomous vehicle. We don't say that. What we absolutely do so is increasing availability of more connectivity in the vehicle, increasing availability of ultimate driving features. -For example, using on-board computers, sensors, and cameras, the car is able to alert me when there's another car nearby possibly preventing a collision. -You just got a little warning. -I did it. I almost hit that car. That's [unk] -It's a great job. I know I-- -I know. Good job. -I'd like to leave and jump out of my seat. -It was a very scary. -GM is also developing similar technologies that will keep you in your lane if you start to drift. In this case, the actual seat alerts you with a little vibration. That's actually that's really sparked so it's-- the slow drift triggers it as opposed to something that feels kind of intentional. -Right. You know, people make lane changes, evasive maneuvers, -Uh huh. -And so we try and only give them a warning when they really need it. -It's kind of tricky about to try it out. Oh, I filled it. -But my favorite demo of the day was rear-automatic braking. In my opinion, this safety tech is the closest thing to autonomous driving because the car actually takes control. -This is just probably the first time we've ever had the car actually take control away from the driver. -Yeah. Oh my God! -What happen? -And it's driving like crazy. Look how close it was. I was totally like prepared to hit the ball and like there's no way this gonna sub. Can we do that again? -Yeah. -Wow! Even when it's autonomous -- That is remarkable. Just it mostly worked with stationary [unk] with actually kid. -It will try to work with moving objects. -One more time. This is so-- -[unk] -Now, I'm hooked. And hooked might even be an understatement. I mean whether it's having a car stop itself to prevent a crash, a seat that measures your heart rate or a seat that gives me a massage. The car of the future is definitely I wanna ride in.