Health, Wellness, & Well-Being To Become Key Focus Of The Automotive Industry

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First we started monitoring our health through our smartphones, then came watches that could tell us our heart rate at any given time. Before we know it our cars will automatically adjust its ambience and music based on our stress levels. Sounds ridiculous right? Well, so did the first two not so long ago.

Since technology has allowed healthcare to take place outside of the GP or hospital, why should our cars not become a hub for our health? We are increasingly spending more and more time behind the wheel, and as manufacturers look at creating autonomous driving – we may soon have a lot more time on our hands during our commute.

The push towards health, wellness, and well-being in the automotive industry has only become more urgent amid the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has opened our eyes to certain unsanitary areas of our lives, and highlighted the need to focus more attention towards cleaner and healthier ways of living. Your car is already doing its bit to help with that.


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First step: Ergonomics


Ever since the very first automobile was made, manufacturers have focused some of their resources on their customers health, in the form of ergonomics.

Sitting in a flat, upright seat made of wood wouldn’t exactly do wonders for our backs, nor would it be particularly comfortable. So manufacturers had to design car seats with customers comfort and posture in mind. Fast forward a century or so and the focus is still there, albeit a lot more advanced.


There are few finer things in life than getting in your car during the winter, and remembering you have heated seats. A feature that despite being around since the 60s, isn’t all that common among a 21st century line-up of cars. It served as a stepping stone to the increasingly popular massage function that was first offered by Mercedes-Benz at the turn of the century.

Treatments inside your car now range from simple one-setting motion massages, to replicating a hot stone massage in the Mercedes S-Class. All boast fairly impressive levels of comfort, while aiming to remove those nasty knots and aches you have from spending the rest of your day sat at a desk.

With their constant improvements, it probably isn’t long before our seats have actual hands to replicate a professional masseuse – but manufacturer’s are starting to shift more of their attention towards alternative methods of automobile healthcare.

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Purifying our air conditioning


Air conditioning has also been around in our cars for decades, but it is rapidly becoming so much more than just conditioning. In a response to the rising levels of pollution in urban areas, manufacturers have began doing their bit to combat its negative effects on our health.

Air filtration systems are cropping up among recent models including the new Peugeot 308, which features the brands Clean Cabin technology that is designed to automatically filter out polluting gases and particles. It is one of many newly released cars to monitor external and internal air quality, and regulate it accordingly.


We may even start to see allergen warnings based on our location services according to Forbes. That way our vehicles air systems can filter the allergens or we can avoid the route entirely.

Tesla insisted on going one huge step further when it released its new Model X back in 2015. CEO Elon Musk said the U.S. based company wanted to become a leader in apocalyptic defence scenarios – and inserts an air filter feature into the SUV that is so powerful you would survive a biological attack. We hope we never have to find out how true that is, but we fear Tesla may have taken the whole automobile health kick a bit too far.

Chinese manufacturer, Geely, has also announced its plans to focus on self-cleaning materials for use in its range of models. Included on heavily-used touch points such as buttons and door handles. Just another innovative method brands are utilising to enhance the cleanliness of our commutes.


The age of biosensors


This is where automakers will be stepping into new territory. Biosensors have long been used for medicinal purposes and environmental monitoring – but car manufacturers are set to dip their toes into the water for use in their vehicles.

Biosensors could open the door to a host of new health features inside your car, including monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate. Turning your daily commute into a daily check-up. As well as keeping track of your health it could serve as an additional safety feature on the road, ensuring your in good enough physical state to drive.


Innovative bio-sensory technology could even work in conjunction with existing tech to optimise driver workload estimations and drowsiness detection, as well as drink driving prevention.

It is clear that manufacturer’s are gearing up for a future where drivers want much more from their cars than what they already have. Entertainment, and even sustainability have been introduced and shaped in the automobile industry. It will soon be the turn of healthcare – and with the possibility of not having to drive the cars at all, this may be the most fascinating period of evolution in a cars capabilities since they first took to the road.


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