According to a report in the Financial Times (subscription required), Ford has given up on the development of a smart car seat that can detect a driver’s irregular heart rhythms. The idea is that the car could tell if the driver was incapacitated due to a heart attach, and then take over the controls to stop the car safely.
According to the article, a company representative said “New sensor technology and wearables will provide more precise measurements that will improve the experience we can offer.” In other words, wearable Health Tech devices could provide better sensors that produce more accurate data. Most of these devices are designed to communicate wirelessly with smartphones and other systems in order to forward information for storage, analysis, and reporting. Cars are also gaining communication and intelligence features, such as Bluetooth connections to mobile devices and providing local WiFi hot spots. It makes good sense to design ways for wearable Health Tech devices to exchange information with smart cars.
This synergy could be used to detect other situations such as a sleepy driver, and produce appropriate alerts. It probably makes more sense to rely on biometric sensors in wearable devices than build them into the car itself.