Ford unveils heartbeat sensor days after wrestler's death

May 26, 2011 12:00 AM

The tragic death of professional wrestling legend "Macho Man" Randy Savage shed some light on what can happen if a motorist suffers a heart attack or other medical emergency while driving. Fortunately, new technology may be able to prevent accidents like this from happening again.

Just days after Savage's death, Ford unveiled a new driver's seat that is able to detect electrical pulses from a heartbeat. The vehicle can immediately recognize any irregularities and pass that info on to the car's computer system. For example, if the sensors in the seat detect a heart attack about to happen, the computer system can then contact emergency services or disable the vehicle so that the driver doesn't cause an accident - exactly what happened to Savage.

"As always in medicine, the earlier a condition is detected, the easier it is to treat, and this technology even has the potential to be instrumental in diagnosing conditions drivers were previously unaware they had," said Dr. Achim Lindner, a medical officer at the Ford research center.

Sometimes new automotive technology can seem a bit gimmicky, but this is one improvement we'd definitely like to see make it to cars in the future, as there's really no downside to looking out for drivers in this fashion.

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