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0 New Ferrari biometric technology 'reads driver's mind' to adjust car stability

Mind reading apparently is no longer reserved for psychics: it may soon trickle down to automobiles. 

According to global patent applications recently submitted by Ferrari, the sports car manufacturer is developing technologies aimed at monitoring a driver’s mental and physical state, and subsequently adjusting traction and stability controls to suit.
"Drivers tend to miscalculate -- in particular, overestimate -- their driving skill and, more importantly, their psychophysical condition, with the result that driver-selected dynamic vehicle performance simply reflects the driver's wish, as opposed to the driver's actual psychophysical condition and proficiency," quoted Ferrari's application as saying.

The Europe-wide and global patent applications show how Ferrari expects a range of sensors to provide the cars of the future with data on the driver, allowing it to adjust its set-up accordingly.

The application continues, "The biometric sensors may comprise a piezoelectric measuring device for measuring the driver's respiration, a device for measuring the driver's blood pressure and heart rate, a television camera for monitoring the driver's eyes (blink rate) to determine the driver's alertness, a device for monitoring the electric activity of the driver's brain, a device for recording the driver's surface temperature and a device for recording the conductivity of the driver's skin (to determine the degree of perspiration)."

A diagram indicates that sensors would be mounted in the cabin ceiling, dashboard, steering wheel and driver's seat area.

It also includes a manettino dial, indicating that Ferrari intends to continue offering the race-based driver control system.

Ferrari said, "The dynamic performance may be modified to enhance driving safety in the case of a tired or unresponsive driver, and also to enhance driving pleasure and/or performance in the case of an alert, responsive driver."

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