No surprise, the new program was announced at the technophile's paradise that is the Consumer Electronics Show. Paired with a wearable, like an Apple Watch or FitBit, that would monitor heart rate and skin temperature, the car's sensors can track a driver's breathing and driving style.
This data can be analyzed alongside weather and traffic information, effectively allowing the car to determine how stressed or tired a driver is. Systems within the vehicle would then be tweaked to "relax, vitalize, or even protect the driver." This can take the form of an automatic massage and adjustments to the cabin temperature, ambient lighting, and infotainment. So when you're about to go full road rage because there's a Camry doing ten under in the left lane, Sirius could flip on the easy listening of Watercolors to calm you down.
Naturally, this technology is still in the early stages, and there's no word about when it could actually arrive in production vehicles. But as driverless systems evolve, Audi is aiming to develop such an advanced health suite that an autonomous vehicle could detect a medical emergency, pull over safely, and call for assistance. Here's to the future, folks.
Check out the official release below.
Audi envisions a future in which drivers leave their cars more relaxed than when they entered them. The car, as a personal yet simultaneously connected space, is ideal for health and fitness monitoring. Under the motto "my Audi cares for me", Audi Fit Driver will become a supportive driving companio.
The Audi Fit Driver project focuses on the well-being and health of the driver. A wearable (fitness wristband or smartwatch) monitors important vital 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.
The goal of Audi Fit Driver is to provide the optimal driving experience, custom-tailored to the current condition of the driver by means of, for example, a relaxing or invigorating seat massage, suitable climate control, adaptive infotainment and a fitting interior lighting concept.
The ability of a vehicle to actively reduce the driver's stress-level and improve concentration is completely new. Upon detecting increased stress, 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.
Intelligent rest break management considers current traffic flow when recommending a break, allowing the driver to relax at the nearest rest area instead of being stuck in traffic.
In a later project phase, 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.
As always at Audi, data protection has the highest priority. Personal data is never shared or distributed without express consent.
Equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice.