Trevor Collett | May 15, 2017

Ford is the latest carmaker to take the wearable fitness band craze and develop it further for the world of cars, according to reports out of the US.

The idea isn't new, with carmakers having studied the concept of 'healthy' car seats for several years - including Ford as far back as 2011.

But Ford CEO Mark Fields has now reportedly approached Flex - a company already manufacturing devices for Johnson & Johnson, FitBit and others - with the view to push the smart seat idea.

Like the popular wrist bands, the smart seat could eventually monitor the user's heart-rate, alertness, temperature and other vital signs. Should the sensors notice any problems, the vehicle can commence autonomous driving or alert the driver.

"The reason [Mark Fields] was interested in medical is because he recognises that there's biometric sensors that can actually go into a car, and those sensors can read a person’s biological makeup and understand whether the person is falling sleep at the wheel or not," Flex's Michael Mendenhall said, speaking with Fortune.

"And the car would actually respond."

Flex has already dabbled in the autonomous driving field, and Fields reportedly believes that smart seats and other life-saving, in-car tech should even precede the self-driving car.

Ideas also under consideration include CO2 sensors to monitor if children or pets have been left in the vehicle.

MORE: Ford To Bring Test Drives To You Through VR Technology
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Ford | Technology | Autonomous

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