Ford has announced plans to integrate its cars with wearable technology for a smarter, safer driving experience.
As part of Ford Smart Mobility an Automative Wearables Experience lab has been opened to begin working on helping cars and wearables communicate. The plan is for Ford vehicles to understand the state of the driver so they can react for the safest, most comfortable ride.
One area where this is likely to appear first is lane-keeping assist. The car will be able to assess just how tired the driver is based on the amount of sleep attained the night before. It can then adjust settings to counter this and keep the driver awake.
Another example is in traffic. If the driver's heart rate increases the car's adaptive cruise control and blind spot information system could increase distance between vehicles to calm the driver down.
The car could also alert the driver via the wearable. If in semi-autonomous driving mode, the car detects construction ahead, it could vibrate the wearable to alert the driver that a human needs to take the wheel soon.
Ford is also testing smart controls that respond to voice commands via a smartwatch. This will include smart start, lock, unlock and even locate when away from the vehicle.
There are even tests into augmented reality smart glasses. These could be used to access additional information when in a show room.
Ford is beginning with a competition for app submissions with winners announced in March. It has not announced which wearables will be included in the future but appears to be aiming for an open platform. Since its Sync systems now work with iOS and Android this makes sense.