Future cars to 'detect heart attacks'

Future cars to 'detect heart attacks'

Cars of the future will stop if people suffer a heart attack behind the wheel.

Ford is currently developing technology that will monitor the driver's heart rate and look the irregularities.

In the event of a heart attack, or possible heart attack, a computer will take over steering and braking, guiding the car safely to a halt at the side of the road, protecting the driver and other road users.

The system, which is being developed in response to the world's ageing population, could even prompt the driver's mobile phone to send a message to the nearest medical centre for an ambulance to be sent.

Sensitive electrodes fitted in the seat monitor the driver's heart rate through clothing, while a camera tracks head movements, such as a sudden drop forward, plus there are also sensors on the steering wheel.

Drivers suffering from heart diseases are 23% more likely to be involved in an accident on the road, research reveals, and those suffering from angina, where the blood supply to the heart is restricted, are 52% more likely to be in a crash.

The implementation of the technology in all of Ford's production cars is not expected to happen before 2020 at the earliest.

Copyright Press Association 2014