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Making a Connection With Safe Driving and Health

Sept. 17, 2014
2 mins
Mom buckles baby into the car seat in their family vehicle

If a Waterloo-based tech firm has its way, we'd all be following instructions and taking safe driving tips from sensor-based monitors and tools in our cars, while keeping an eye on our health.

Intelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS) is helping turn the task of driving into more of a science and to illustrate this, they modified and equipped a Fiat 500 to monitor bodily functions, including breathing patterns, glucose levels and heart rates.

The data is collected through wearable technology and relayed through in-car tablets and monitors, which will warn a driver and others using the connected system of dangerous situations and unsafe driving moves such as tailgating, speeding or harsh cornering. Similarly, monitoring bodily functions can predict when a driver is getting drowsy, and other software can factor in routes, traffic patterns and weather conditions. As you can see, combining this information can warn a driver that it's time to pull over and allow someone else to drive or at the very least proceed with caution.

The modified and health-conscious Fiat was recently presented to the audience of the Insurance Telematics USA 2014 conference in Chicago, where leading insurance companies, brokers, agents as well as car manufacturers had a first-hand demonstration and even test drives on downtown streets.

IMS has already unveiled its software platform DriveSync, used in connected-car business solutions and usage-based insurance programs, recently adopted by insurers including the Co-operators. The DriveSync telematics box with onboard GPS sensors and 3-axis accelerometer monitors overall driving behaviours including, speeding, rapid acceleration, harsh braking, sharp turns and excessive idling.

As partnerships between automotive technology and service providers increase, research firm Analysys Mason forecasts that by 2024, 89 percent of new cars sold worldwide will have embedded connectivity.

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