A lot of us get our much-needed peace and quiet when driving, especially during a pandemic like this. From simple grocery runs to relaxing night drives around the block, the time we spend behind the wheel is precious time away from life’s everyday problems.
That, however, isn’t the case for everybody. Many others see driving as a chore—something they’d choose to live without if possible. What some of us consider a stress reliever is a source of it for some people.
Ford wants to change all that. In its attempt to take the stress out of driving, the American carmaker has now developed a ‘Mindfulness Concept Car.’ The concept explores how mindfulness—an increasingly popular approach to managing stress and anxiety—can make journeys more enjoyable through the addition of various convenience features.
“Mindfulness helps people to be more focused, be calmer, and achieve greater clarity—and when you’re behind the wheel, this can help make you a better driver,” said mindfulness teacher and author Mark Coleman, the creator of the meditation guides for the concept car. “You become more aware and responsive, while greatly reducing the likelihood of being distracted. More drivers being more mindful can make journeys safer and more enjoyable for everyone on the road.”
Ford has equipped the Kuga-based Mindfulness Concept Car with specific tech to enable users to:
Enter a hygienic and harmonious space
- Unlock Purge function – Allows the climate control system to provide a burst of fresh air into the cabin prior to entry with the press of the key fob
- Premium filter – Helps keep small pollutants from entering the cabin
- UV-C light diodes – Prevents reproduction and spread of viruses and germs on various surfaces
Set the mood and get grounded
- Ambient lighting
- Driver’s seat with four actuators – Provides feedback on the driver’s breathing and heart rate through in-car displays
- Wearables – Monitors the driver’s heart rate and other physiological measures and can synchronize the heartbeat with the seat actuators and ambient light
- Special interior trim – Built using sustainable materials and featuring natural colors
Enjoy serene and immersive sounds
- Bang & Olufsen Beosonic – Enables sound spaces to be selected based on the mood
- B&O headrest speakers – Provides an immersive listening experience
- Tailored playlists – Music is played based on current situations such as traffic jams or locations like seasides
Stay calm and refreshed
- Adaptive climate control – Can also stimulate deep breathing when an incident has been avoided using driver-assist tech
- Powernap function – Allows the driver’s seat to lay flat with ample neck support and plays auditory beats to help the driver wake up refreshed afterwards
- Specific guides for yoga, exercises, and meditation sessions
“These driver assistance systems for the mind, body and soul turn driving time into ‘me-time,’” said Ford of Europe Interior Materials & Experience, Research & Advanced Engineering technical expert Carsten Starke. “The principles learned and practiced in this unique car can be applied to other aspects of life, to enhance not just daily drives, but every single experience.”
If every car had a suite of features like this, then maybe more people would find driving relaxing. Do you concur?