Working with researchers at RWTH Aachen University, engineers at Ford’s European research centre have developed a car seat that can monitor a driver’s heartbeat.
The seat uses six embedded sensors positioned on the surface of the seat backrest to detect electrical impulses generated by the heart.
The unobtrusive sensors have been specially designed to be able to detect the electronic signature of the heart through clothing.
Although currently still a research project, the heart-rate monitor technology could prove to be an important means to monitor the health of drivers.
Initially, it could be of most benefit to drivers known to have heart conditions — primarily those in more mature age groups.
’With increasing life expectancy, higher numbers of drivers are at risk of heart diseases, so the ability to monitor the condition of drivers’ hearts could offer massive benefits in terms of health and road safety, both for the user and the wider public,’ said RWTH Aachen University Prof Steffen Leonhardt, who originally proposed taking the university’s work with contactless infant heart monitoring to Ford.