Car Technology: Systems That Monitor The Health of The Driver

Electronic technology in a car can be used for many things, and since then not only to make us the driving more comfortable (think for example of a climate control automatic bizone), more entertaining (for example with a system of multimedia connectivity) or more secure (with stability control systems, automatic braking, distance from security).

Can also be used for ensure the health and physical condition of the driver. And everything is related to the end and all, since these systems that monitor the health of the driver also involve improving the safety of driving and can synergize with other elements of security to work together.

Detecting fatigue, tiredness and sleep

One of the first systems that are responsible for the driver, and already is included standard on some models (Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo, among others), or optionally in others, although they still tend to be not very affordable cars, but insurance that will be spreading, is the system of detection of fatigue.

This system is able to detect that the driver is tired, that takes many hours driving and their attention span and reaction have been reduced, or that you’re sleeping, and therefore tries to avoid the shock, or worse still the accident. It makes it primarily with a steering wheel angle sensor.

If you turn the steering wheel time acompasado a few degrees, one, two, three, very few, to the right or to the left, the system understands that this is normal behavior to stay focused on the rail, which requires thinking and make corrections at any time.

However if corrections are more abrupt, non-homogeneous, if there are changes in the pattern, if crazily are giving and doing eses, the system interprets that the driver is distracted, or half asleep, and then jump a alarm, a beep and a message of alert in the instrument panel to recommend stopping to rest.

Depending on the system, this may have learned of drive driver to know better when to change this style, it takes into account if other controls and buttons of the car are activated (or if on the contrary the driver stands very), takes into account the elapsed travel non-stop, etc..

Some systems can also use the recognition camera lines of the lane, a lane keeping Assistant, to determine the accuracy or inaccuracy that driver circulates through it, and even some more experimental system includes a camera focused on the eyes of the driver to see how they Flash and more effectively detect symptoms of sleep.

This monitor driver and avoid sleep is an issue that worries enough on road safety, and it is under investigation, especially to develop effective systems, but non-invasive.

Watch the heart

But there’s more technology in testing and development, such as the steering wheel with sensors to measure your heart rate, and detect abnormal variations of the same indicating the imminence of a severe vascular problem, as for example a cardiac arrest. Toyota already has a prototype in hands.

A system thus restored with an alarm and message to the driver, which might have a few seconds to remove the drive from the circulation and stopping on the hard shoulder. But in addition, in combination with an Assistant for emergency car call automatically support services.

In this line is also the ECGSeat of Ford, seat, still experimental, making a electrocardiogram the driver, thanks to a set of metal plates positioned under the upholstery of the backrest, which would be in contact with the back of the driver.

The ECG not only serves to monitor the heartbeat but the behavior more in detail the functioning of the heart, and can detect more anomalies than a heart attack. Again he would jump the alert or even would be called to emergencies if required.

Experimental prototype of the Ford ECGSeat (plates would not be in sight)

Detect stress

Up to the level of stress of the driver at the wheel, can watch also causes many accidents, and if it is detected in time, and know how to act, for example to autocontrolarlo with relaxation techniques, or directly by stopping to rest, you can reduce and avoid unnecessary risks.

Ford has presented a project that uses a set of biometric sensors on the steering wheel and the belt to monitor the rhythm of cardiac and respiratory of the driver, as well as controlling the traffic conditions, the behavior of the driver at the wheel and the dynamic response of the car (as I always say can more information in the link that leads to the full article of Motorpasión future).

And there are also other complementary systems thinking about the health of the occupants of a car, as incorporated in the latest version of Sync, with or without MyFord Touch, alert of allergies, with information on the levels of pollen, which can also be used to give information on the level of UV radiation, of influenza virus, etc.