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Are you ready for your car to take your blood pressure?
www.FordInsideNews.com
June 27, 2012
By: Nick Saporito


Today in-car technology is advancing at rapid pace, and every innovation seems to involve two core components: input sensors and algorithms. The two components are center for nearly every “intelligent” new feature that is either minimizing or eliminating the need for human intervention. At Ford, they are in the process of developing a system that leverages all of these vehicular sensors in a very holistic way to manage drivers’ stress.

Ford states that there are three areas of focus that collectively allow them to estimate the amount of stress or “workload” that a driver is experiencing at any given time. Those three areas are the external environment, internal environment and human biometrics.

For the external and internal environments, Ford already has plenty of sensors and sources to gather information from. Internally, every modern vehicle knows exactly what percentage the throttle is engaged at, what angle the wheel is being turned and a host of other output data that sheds plenty of light on the vehicle’s internal state.

Externally many vehicles are also becoming more aware of their surroundings. Ford specifically intends to leverage data from radar (used for cruise control and collision avoidance systems), as well as ultrasonic parking sensors to determine what is going on around the car. Windshield mounted cameras currently used for lane departure systems can also be leveraged to literally see what is going on around the vehicle as well.

The third component Ford is incorporating into this research is human biometrics. Biometrics include the driver’s blood pressure, skin conductivity, skin dampness and even breathing rate. Currently these are the few sensors modern vehicles lack, but Ford is seriously looking at incorporating them in the near future.

Specifically Ford has prototype steering wheels, seats and seatbelts to measure all of the human biometrics. The steering wheel has embedded aluminum plates that read blood pressure and skin conductivity; while a specially designed seatbelt is constantly monitoring breathing rate. Collectively this allows the have a fairly good understanding of the stress level of the driver.

Once the input data from all three areas is compiled, it would theoretically be ran through a specially designed algorithm. The algorithm would then be able to predict the driver’s stress level and workload.

So, what to do with all of this information? Well, Ford wants to utilize the outcome of the algorithm to have the vehicle automatically adjust alerts and interruptions in the car. For example, if the system detects the driver is under a lot of stress, it would delay text message and phone call alerts until said driver settles down a bit.

As of right now this high tech use of the dozens of in-car sensors is still in the research phase, but Ford seems intent on seeing it to fruition, which isn’t too surprising. Most of the required sensors are already on the car and Ford researches claim the cost of the biometric sensors is minimal as they have all been on the market for years in the medical industry. Overall it’s a creative use for technology that’s already in place.
 

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The Spaminator
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The only problem with this is not the technology, but how the people will react to it. Too many will be Luddites and think the car is messing up - i.e. doesn't have good quality - when it doesn't allow a phone call during driving.
 

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Mercury C557
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altho/imho this blood pressure function is NOT a "medical" function, strictly,
as someone on medicationS for High BP, I've had mine measured by many people with various kinds of equipment & procedures AND VARIOUS RESULTS
&
• I question the accuracy of the steeringwheel's embedded aluminum plates
• think it could turn into JUST an inconvenience disabling features when IT decides
• & what about all the people with undiagnosed HighBP? their phones won't EVER work??
• am quickly getting to the point of believing automakers are ASKing for trouble with gizmos & nannies
• might Welcome the lawsuit when someone dies of a BP induced stroke while driving BUT THE CAR DIDN'T WARN THEM
 

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Am i the only one who noticed this picture is taken in Europe but yet i see a Super Duty? wdf?
also notice that hes not moving at all since the tach is at 0?
 

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Am i the only one who noticed this picture is taken in Europe but yet i see a Super Duty? wdf?
LOL, you can buy North American vehicles over here.
http://www.ameerikaauto.ee/?op=body&id=37

At the moment in my neighbourhood American Car dealership in Tallinn has a new Mustang GT and GT500 Shelby
View attachment 3244

They seem stocked up on Dodge Rams this summer.
They have a used F-150 Harley Davidson
For a small country (just over a million population) it surprises me at the amount of Ford F series trucks, and most of them top spec trim levels on the roads here.
 

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