This system will detect the signs of a stroke before symptoms appear
The car will stop on the shoulder, call 9-1-1 and alert other drivers
This technology could be introduced in Japan by 2025
Mazda is working on a system that will monitor the health of the driver and warn them about an impending medical condition, such as a stroke.
This technology is already being implemented in some cars with self driving capabilities, but Mazda wants to integrate it to regular cars that have to be driven manually by 2025.
The idea is to get medical help for the driver as soon as possible to maximal their chances of recovery, while minimising the risks to other drivers and pedestrians next to the car whose driver is incapacitated.
This system will use cameras pointed at the driver to monitor their subtle head movements and where they focus their vision in order to detect the early signs of a heart condition such as a stroke or a heart attack.
The car would then alert the driver to their problem and call the emergency services. If the driver becomes incapacitated before the car is stopped, the vehicle will move over and stop on the shoulder of the road.
In order to get the attention of other drivers, the car should honk its horn and turn on its emergency warning lights, but these ways to communicate to other have not been confirmed yet. This is done to prevent another driver from hitting the car by making it more visible, but also to signal to passersby that something is wrong with the driver so that they can give them help while the medical teams are on their way.
Mazda plans to use this technology in its cars starting in 2025 in Japan and an expansion to Europe in the following years is expected. The company is reportedly still deciding whether or not to bring it to North America, but since other automakers have some similar functions, it is likely Mazda will offer it here in the future.