Breaking through the clutter at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz unveiled one of its newest projects – Fit and Healthy. Designed to maintain passenger wellbeing, the concept will support an active and healthy lifestyle with personalised, intelligent solutions.
Named Fit and Healthy, the holistic concept was shown off in a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class at the trade show, displaying exciting features that make use of intelligent data connectivity between systems, sensors and algorithms. With Fit and Healthy, your Mercedes-Benz will evolve from being a mere mode of transport to a contemporary lifestyle solution. The result? A vehicle that will look after your wellbeing, like a true companion.
Strategic cooperation with Philips has ensured that the latest in healthcare technology will be used to develop Fit and Healthy. Upon authorisation, a sensor system in the vehicle will measure the driver’s vital data and heart rate in real-time and inform them about their activity behaviour and sleep rhythm. Fine-particle filters will ensure the interior of the vehicle comprises above-average air quality that is also allergy-friendly.
Intelligent data connectivity, adaptive comfort and infotainment systems can, for example, reduce tiredness or stress, such as with the option to select a stress-free route on the navigation system. Stimulating or relaxing music to suit the driver’s mood and traffic conditions, matching climate control including fragrancing and suitable ambience lighting are also conceivable features. Seat features include the active seat and deep massage, which invites users to participate in tailored fitness exercises during a driving break.
“By using a combination of sensors, data and artificial intelligence, the car will decide what is best for you,” says Dr Goetz Renner, head of the Fit and Healthy program. “Maybe you’re tired in the morning, and you need an espresso shot. You push activation and that program in combination with light, scent, massage in your seat, a burst of fresh air, it wakes you up. It’s a three minute program that really gets you awake.”
In later stages of development, there will be a focus on safety and assistance systems. This connectivity will result, for example, in a recommendation to the passengers to take a power nap. The navigation system can advise them of a suitable rest area. The previously described comfort systems would help first to relax the passengers and then to stimulate them again.
Mercedes-Benz and driving safety
In addition to enhancing the driving experience, Fit and Healthy can also have a significant impact on driver and passenger safety.
Mercedes-Benz is committed to reducing road accidents by ensuring driver alertness. Encouraging them to change their posture and practicing customised exercises will prevent lethargy. Furthermore, from the moment you hop into the driver’s seat, the dashboard will notify you of traffic and weather conditions, as well any dangerous hazards that might be on your route.
In the near future, steering wheels in Fit and Healthy vehicles will be able to sense your pulse (eliminating the need for a wearable device), their seats will be able to sense your stress levels, and sophisticated, high-resolution cameras will monitor your blink rate and pupil dilation to combat driver fatigue.
Mercedes-Benz is also developing a wearable ECG vest for the Mercedes’ truck and bus division. Long-distance truck and bus drivers can wear the vest under their clothes to constantly monitoring their heart rate. If a cardiac arrest is detected, the automated system will take over the controls of the vehicle and pull over to prevent a mishap.
Not too long before you get Fit and Healthy
Fit and Healthy is far from being an experimental gimmick. It is supported by equipment features that already exist in the market. The cooperation with healthcare technology leader Philips further strengthens the effort.
“To get it medically right we worked with people who know what they’re talking about when it comes to the human body,” said Ola Källenius, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. “When we introduce an innovation, usually the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the flagship, but some of the Fit & Healthy features we’re working on will even be launched first on the next generation A-Class. Hundreds of thousands of people will be able to use and enjoy this technology.”
The first complete Fit & Healthy system is slated to arrive in the new S-Class later this year.