Driving a car requires attention, experience, and quick reflexes in case anything bad happens. But all of these factors suddenly become hindered if you have any kind of medical condition like, diabetes or are at a heightened risk of heart attack or stroke. Many people who suffer from ailments like these discontinue driving, knowing full well that they could become a risk not only to themselves, but to others as well. Some people, however, continue to drive despite their medical condition either because they do not perceive it as a risk or they have no choice but to continue driving. This puts many people on the roads at risk, and endangers many lives.
But BMW is working on a system to make this scenario a whole lot safer. BMW's new safety system called Emergency Stop Assistant, will safely bring your car to a stop during a medical calamity. According to BMW, the system will be able to sense a drivers medical emergency. Once the system realizes the threat, an auto-pilot feature takes over control of the car. The system is said to turn on the hazard lights, navigate the vehicle safely through traffic via radar technology, and then slow the vehicle to a stop on the curb or shoulder of the road. After this happens, the Extended Emergency Call System already installed in the car will contact emergency response services giving them the location of the vehicle. This new feature is a part of the project SmartSenior, launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research out of Germany. It will be interesting to see how the integrated system will detect said medical emergencies, how it will know the severity of the emergency, and how it will be able to pull the car over without hitting something. It also raises the question if this technology could be integrated to assist drunk drivers as well, something that would save even more lives than the SmartSenior program.