Ford Smart Car Stops Your Texting
Trying to stop texting while driving? If so, you are doing the right thing. Ford Motor Company is trying to be helpful with their Biometric Seat Research.
(Ford's Biometric Seat Research)
Ford wants to shut off access to your cellphone and texting while driving but only when the highway is jammed and youíve got enough to do already. Biometric sensors in the seat and steering wheel measure stresses on the driver, while sonar, radar and cameras measure traffic flow around the car. The data feeds into a ďdriver workload estimatorĒ algorithm that determines when you, personally, reach sensory overload. It temporarily sets a Do Not Disturb flag on your cellphone; inbound calls are shunted to voicemail and texts arenít announced.
The biometric steering wheel and spokes have metal sensors that measure heart rate; they work the same as heart rate sensors on gym treadmills and stair-climbers. An infrared sensor in the wheel measures the temperature from the driverís hands and face. A downward-facing sensor under the steering column measures cabin temperature for comparison to the driverís temperature. A piezoelectric sensor in the seat belt measures breathing rate.
Philip K. Dick imagined this future in his 1963 novel The Game Players of Titan:
It had been a bad night, and when he tried to drive home he had a terrible argument with his car.
"Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive. Please use the auto-auto mech and recline in the rear seat."
Pete Garden sat at the steering tiller and said as distinctly has he could manage, "Look, I can drive... Start, darn it!"
The auto-auto said "You have not inserted the key."
"Okay," he said, feeling humiliated. Maybe the car was right...
(Read more about Dick's alcohol-sensing system)
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