It’s obvious that connected cars offer drivers a ton of benefits compared to their predecessors. It’s not just that these new models include technology which makes commuting more comfortable-they are truly an extension of the conveniences we have gotten used to having at home and at work. Those of us who spend 2 to 3 hours a day in the car don’t want to be disconnected from the marvels of the digital age.
Cars are now considered more than just a way to get from point A to point B. They must also fit drivers’ needs for convenience, security, and safety. Among other functions drivers wish to see in the connected car is the ability of vehicles to monitor the health of their drivers.
According to this driver's wishlist, car manufacturers should develop mechanisms and devices able to transform their vehicles into healthy and secured environments. Based on these popular demands, it’s no surprise that several major automotive brands are doing exactly that.
BMW, for example, has created an emergency stop assistance system, called SmartSenior, that uses sensors to help drivers pull over to the side of the road in the event that they feel ill (think heart or asthma attack). The system will even send an emergency call to first responders.
Ford has announced a health monitoring system in the form of a car seat that monitors a driver’s cardiovascular system for interruptions; to do this, the system utilizes a camera and sensors on the rudder wheel. This technology could potentially detect a heart attack and take over the vehicle’s steering and braking systems to bring it safely to a stop.
As a strategy to decrease the number of alcohol-related road accidents, a group students at the Institute of Technology of Cintalapa, Chiapas, Mexico, developed an automotive safety system that detects the blood alcohol content of the driver and prevents them from operating the vehicle if impaired. The system works through sensors that are on the steering wheel, the gear lever, and seat that can detect through sweat if a person is intoxicated. If the driver tests positive for alcohol, the car’s motor is disabled making it impossible to drive.
Volkswagen offers a fatigue detection system which automatically analyses driving characteristics and recommends drivers take a break should they show signs of weariness. The system constantly evaluates steering wheel movements and other signals when the vehicle is moving at speeds in excess of 65 km/h, and calculates a fatigue estimate. If fatigue is detected, the driver is warned by information in the multi-function display and an acoustic signal.
Archer Software is a recognized provider of embedded software solutions for the connected car.
Additionally, we have broad expertise in developing mobile applications for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry, including geolocation and geopositioning services. You can learn more about our connected car work on our Automotive page.