More cars that will monitor your BP…and brain waves

viagra-eyeThe Gimlet Eye is beginning to feel not quite up to speed in reading The Wall Street Journal’s dashing article on the wonderful things cars will shortly be doing to keep you awake, alive and healthy. Now awake is all well and good–the Mercedes ‘Attention Assist’ steering wheel with sensors to detect drowsy driving is fine, with the suggested option of replacing a discreet display or ding with a blaring ‘Achtung, Achtung.’ Alive–sensing drunk, reckless driving or a heart attack and stopping the car earns a resounding ja. Healthy–the Eye observes that the dashboard data distractions of Ford’s ‘Car That Cares’ are happily not the focus of MIT AgeLab’s/Toyota’s research into sensor-equipped cars which actively assist older drivers in that odd activity called driving. The one non-starter in the Eye’s view is the Ferrari headrest with brain wave monitors to detect ‘stress’; yes, one will be stressed blasting down the M6 at 150 mph or 20 mph on the FDR Drive at 5:30pm. But if the ideal is ‘self-driving cars, a brave new world in which computers could all but eliminate the potential for driver error—whether it’s due to a distracting phone call or a sudden drop in blood sugar’, don’t bother springing for a masterpiece from Maranello. The Eye does envision applying it to suburban moms applying their makeup while following GPS directions on a phone call in their Merc at 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. A Car That Takes Your Pulse