Ford working on "Do Not Disturb" feature for Sync

June 29, 2012 12:00 AM

Many automakers are introducing new infotainment systems to their cars, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been concerned about the potential for distracted driving with these devices. While many new systems can be controlled using voice commands, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road, some safety advocates still feel drivers should be completely focused on the traffic ahead.

Ford has been ahead of the curve when it comes to these systems, and the company's Sync and MyFordTouch are quite popular features. Now, the automaker says it is working on a new idea that could help reduce distraction on the road, reports Autoblog. It's called a "driver workload estimator," and the idea is that in certain situations, the car will automatically turn off the systems to avoid distraction.

The automaker is developing sensors that will monitor the driver's breathing, heart rate and temperature, along with data from the car such as speed and traffic patterns. All of this will be put into an algorithm that can essentially shut the systems off if the current road situation is more stressful or difficult than normal. Ford calls the feature "Do Not Disturb."

While automakers work to make their cars safer, drivers need to do their part by keeping up with scheduled maintenance. Regular brake service, for example, can help reduce the chance of an incident on the road.

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