Ford has suggested its future cars will be able to take control and guide you to safety in the event of a heart attack.
In a bid to make cars even safer, Ford says it could fit seats with sensitive electrodes that keep tabs on your heart beat. If an irregularity is detected, the car will then look at your head movement with a camera while sensors on the steering wheel will detect how you are holding it.
Should the car deem you are having a full-on heart attack and not merely suffering from heart burn, it will take over braking and steering so you are safely brought to a halt. The infotainment system in the car could then use your mobile phone to send a message for help along with your location.
Ford has been developing the technology as a response to an aging population. It believes there will be a point when drivers over 100 years old will be considered normal. DVLA figures already reveal there are 195 drivers aged 100 or over in the UK and estimates there will be 19 million over 65s by 2050.
Dr Achim Linder of the Ford Research Centre said: “This not only benefits the driver; but also could make the roads safer for all users.”
There’s good reason to worry about the heart when driving. Research by the European Union over a three-year period found those with heart diseases were 23 per cent more likely to be involved in a road accident.
Ford is yet to actually confirm whether or not it will build heart attack monitoring into its cars, but there are already systems available that can detect if you’re drowsy. 2020 would be the earliest production date if a green light is given.