Innovation & Technology: Car Sensors That Could Soon Be Monitoring Our Health

A recent article by Fast Company explains how the sensors within our vehicles could soon be intuitive enough to monitor our own health.

Nigel, a Mini Cooper model, is a continuing project between car giants BMW and the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which started back in 2010. Nigel has been fitted with over 230 sensors that enable the car’s users to track and log everything that happens to the car via a smartphone application, and more recently, researchers at the University of Southern California’s Center for Body Computing have been enlisted to explore how these sensors might be able to “monitor” the vehicle’s health and the driver’s health.

Design Researcher at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Jen Stein explains Nigel further:

“We are using the data generated by the car and the driver, looking at driver habits, a combination of sensors we know that the drivers are using, and creating an experience around that data. We’ve developed a character that has emerged out of that data. There’s an I-drive display in the center of the car, and once you plug your iPhone in and launch the Lifelog app, we can collect all the data.”

Although the Nigel project is only in its early stages, Dr. Leslie Saxon, Executive Director at the USC Center for Body Computing envisages health sensors that are integrated into the car.  These sensors could warn drivers of any impending dangers ahead of the driver, such as air pollution, or a heart sensor that could track the rate of the driver at different stages of their journey.

See our recent coverage of the Paris Motor Show 2012, in which we take an in-depth look at the latest HMI (Human Machine Interface) developments in automobile technology.  – Samantha Fox

Scroll down for images via Fast Company.

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