Although it may not replace your gym membership, Audi hopes its new Fit-Driver System will help relax and reinvigorate you behind the wheel. These days, you can download an app on your Smartphone that monitors your heart rate, stress level, and calorie burning.
Taking it a step farther, German automaker Audi has developed a system that will bring fitness-tracking technology to you while you drive. The program, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show, would be paired with a wearable device, such as a fitness band or smartwatch. Together, the duo would have the ability to monitor the driver’s vital signs, including heart rate and skin temperature with the vehicle’s sensors tracking breathing and driving style.
The collected data would then be analyzed along with weather and traffic conditions to measure the driver’s stress or fatigue level. Once the information has been evaluated and determines what adjustments need to be made, the system in the vehicle would switch to “relax, vitalize, or even protect the driver” mode.
Depending on what the Fit Driver System detects from the gathered data, you might be treated to a number of possible custom-tailored solutions to optimize your driving experience. This could be in the form of a relaxing seat massage, if the system concludes you’re suffering from an elevated stress level. Or, it may reset the climate control to a more suitable temperature, even initiate audio or video “infotainment” with breathing exercises to soothe your frazzled nerves in heavy traffic that has you on the verge of road rage.
By using this type of biofeedback, which is already widely-respected in performance sports and medicine research, the auto builder is focusing on your well-being, while keeping you healthy and comfortable behind the wheel.
Still in the early stages of development, Audi has set no definitive date as to when Fit Driver can be expected to make its debut in any of its production vehicles. However, with the constantly evolving driverless technology, the company hopes to come up with a way to incorporate the system into an autonomous vehicle that could employ the collected data to detect a potential medical emergency, safely pull off the road, and call for help.
Considering cars park themselves and brake without you hitting the pedal yourself, getting a relaxing massage while sitting in rush hour traffic may not be too much to ask, after all. With so many technological advancements changing the future of the automotive landscape, it may be sooner than later.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait until Audi or another automobile manufacturer puts a Fit Driver System in their vehicles…or comes up with a vehicle that can make us a hot cup of coffee as we head to work on a cold January morning.
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