MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Your car may be able to monitor your physical and mental health as you travel, thanks to a steering wheel developed by Germany’s BMW Group in collaboration with university researchers.
The steering wheel incorporates sensors that monitor vital signs and stress levels using metrics like heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, and take measures to reduce distractions or slow down the vehicle.
"Our vision is to get the vehicle to detect when the driver is no longer feeling well and to the initiate appropriate measures," Technische Universitaet Muenchen Professor Tim Lueth said in a press release. "When a stress situation is detected by means of skin conductance values, phone calls can be blocked, for instance, or the volume of the radio turned down automatically. With more serious problems the system could turn on the hazard warning lights, reduce the speed or even induce automated emergency braking."
The steering wheel was developed through BMW’s Fit4Age program investigating "assistance systems for an aging society." Initial tests with the Munich Senior Citizens Advisory Council were "very promising," according to the release.
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