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Published: Thursday, 6/28/2012

Ford testing technology to aid stressed motorists


DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is experimenting with technology that can figure out when a driver is stressed out and might need help.

The system links sensors inside and outside the car to measure traffic, speed, road conditions, and the driver's pulse and breathing. In high-stress situations, the car could give more frequent alerts for front-end crashes, and it could block out an incoming cell-phone call. Ford is testing steering wheel and seat-belt sensors that can check a driver's heart and breathing rates, and even facial temperature. The firm is developing formulas to determine when a driver is stressed and when to assist. The technology is still in research.

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