ENP Newswire - 09 January 2014
Release date- 08012014 - Ford Motor Company is serious about what it terms 'The Car That Cares.'
The company is working on embedding a significant amount of health-tracking technology into its vehicles to measure everything from drivers' stress levels to allergens. In the latter case, the vehicle could, for instance, to redirect drivers allergic to pollen to find an alternate route with fewer airborne allergens. This functionality is possible thanks to a service known as AppLink, part of the MyFordTouch system.
In a recent editorial for Techonomy, Ford's manager, vehicle design and infotronics explains its rationale for embedding health tracking functionality into cars: Health tracking is quickly growing, he reasons, and adding that functionality to cars is convenient and private for users. In addition, 'it's the only logical place for users to manage their health while they're in motion or, more often, stuck in traffic,' he explains.
The average U.S. commuter spent the equivalent to more than a work week stuck in traffic in 2011, according to Reuters. Adding health-tracking functionality to cars can help drivers manage their health instead of get stressed out and frustrated, Strumolo reasons.
Ford collaborated with a German research university to develop a car-based heart monitor that embeds sensors in the seat. This functionality could be used to not only gauge stress levels but help manage it. For instance, if a driver is sufficiently stressed, the car could automatically divert incoming phone calls to voice mail. 'The technology can be used to create a safe, convenient, non-distracting environment that lets the driver concentrate on the road,' Strumolo writes.
Car-based health monitoring could also be used to help diabetics to monitor glucose levels. For instance, cars could be integrated with continuous glucose monitors to help anticipate hypoglycemic events, which can lead to confusion, blurred vision, coma, or even death. Ford has partnered with Medtronic to advance this continuous glucose monitoring capability, which can link up with the SYNC platform to enable drivers to check their blood sugar at the press of a button or voice activation.
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