As lovers of all things automotive, nothing much bewilders, angers or saddens us here at E3 Spark Plugs quite like a case road rage. Recent research reveals that over a seven year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage. Some 66 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving and 37 percent of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.
But a new invention dubbed the "road rage detector seat" just may help change that, developers say. Nanterre, France-based Faurecia, the world's 6th largest auto parts manufacturer, is developing what they call the Active Wellness seat. It's designed to monitor the emotions of drivers via built-in stress or fatigue sensors and to quickly offer up a customized response option when those emotions run high.
"If you're stressed out, your heart rate increases and your respiration increases," said Faurecia's Vice President of Innovation, Rob Huber, in an interview with CNBC's Closing Bell. "If you press 'stress detected,' it'll give you a soothing massage and a warming sensation that will calm you down."
Because fatigued drivers also are a major safety risk, the seat's sensors also lookout for lower heart rates in drivers and respond by offering a lower back massage and a cooling sensation formulated to help wake a driver and boost alertness.
"This car is about connectivity and understanding more about the individual person," Huber said.
The company has yet to announce partnerships with any automakers, but Huber assures members of the media that several are interested and that the Active Wellness seat could become an option in new vehicles as soon as 2018.
What do you think, E3 Spark Plugs fans? Would you opt for such a seat in your new ride? Do you think it will prove effective and perhaps even ultimately become standard? Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.