Most assistive driving technologies aim to make driving easier, usually by reducing the need to steer or hold your foot on the gas. But Mitsubishi’s latest EMIRAI xS Drive concept EV takes things in a different direction, prioritizing driver health and passenger safety with advanced biometric sensors and IR cameras.
The new technology can monitor several health and safety factors, including drowsiness, attentiveness, heart rate, and breathing quality (which may indicate stress or illness). When a driver isn’t fit to operate the car, it can automatically park somewhere safe or call for help.
Interestingly, the new driving system can detect and monitor passengers using radio waves, even if they’re hiding in the floor well. It also tracks driver eye direction and can adjust headlights to illuminate whatever a driver is looking at.
Now, Mitsubishi isn’t the first company to stick biometric sensors in a car. Tesla uses similar tools to detect if a driver is drowsy or not watching the road. But automakers like Tesla are really just building safety rails for their self-driving systems—Mitsubishi, on the other hand, hopes to develop a health and safety system that can find its way in any vehicle, whether it’s autonomous or not.
As theorized by Autoblog, Mitsubishi’s experimental health and safety system could monitor sick or elderly drivers in rural areas, where public transportation is less common. It could also detect when a child is hiding in a car’s floor well, or tell delivery drivers (and their untrustworthy employers) when a break is necessary. Heck, this tech could even end up in heavy machinery, boats, or golf carts.
We don’t know when Mitsubishi will launch its driver health monitoring tech, which could debut in a Mitsubishi EV or a vehicle from some other company. The automaker says it will show off the new EMIRAI xS Drive concept EV with health monitoring features at CES 2022 on January 5th through January 8th.