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Car Seat Gives Drivers Dose of Relaxation

  • Jessica Berman

The everyday snags that drivers encounter while running errands or getting stuck in traffic are frustrating, time-consuming and tiring. And fatigue, stress and anger are factors in many wrecks that result in injuries or deaths.

French tech company Faurecia Automotive says it has designed a car seat that can help drivers keep it together behind the wheel: the "Active Wellness" car seat

Sensors built into the seat measure the driver's vital signs and then respond.

“What we basically do is to monitor respiration rate and heart rate in the seat, and we derive stress and energy level[s] from that," said Olaf Biedermann, a director of innovation for Faurecia. "In case you are stressed, you get a relaxation massage. In case you have low energy levels, you get a very energizing massage.”

It took five years for the company to build a prototype that uses a combination of air flow and patterned massage to respond a driver's need. The seat can even cool down if the driver is feeling hot.

The seat could become available in 2020 to make drivers calmer and safer on the road.