Some of us love driving – for others it’s stressful, tiring and brings out some of our worst qualities.
Audi plans to bring some more calmness to the roads with Audi Fit Driver. It brings together a fitness wristband or smartwatch that monitors parameters such as heart rate and skin temperature. Vehicle sensors supplement this data with information on driving style, breathing rate and relevant environmental data such as weather or traffic conditions.
The current state of the driver, such as elevated stress or fatigue, is deduced from the collected data. As a result, various vehicle systems act to relax, vitalize, or even protect the driver.
It’s the automotive equivalent of “Netflix and chill”.
Audi says the ability of a vehicle to actively reduce the driver’s stress level and improve concentration is new. When increased stress is detected Audi Fit Driver initiates a video tutorial in the cockpit for a specially designed breathing exercise. This approach – known as biofeedback – is already successfully employed in performance sports and medicine.
I’m not sure of how a video tutorial while I’m driving will help – it seems like a distraction to me.
On the other hand, the system will recommend taking a break to counter fatigue and direct you to the nearest rest area instead of being stuck in traffic.
Planned enhancements to Audi Fit Driver will incorporate driver assistance and safety systems, as well as future piloted driving functions. In extreme situations, the car can execute a piloted emergency stop and place an emergency call via the eCall system.