This concept car connects to the driver and displays their heartbeat in real-time through its electro-luminescent paint.
Sure, there has been quite a bit of talk around a future filled with autonomous vehicles. But what about cars that can reflect a driver’s heartbeat?
That’s exactly what Lexus has set out to accomplish with its first-of-its-kind, specially-designed coupe that uses biometric technology and electro-luminescent paint to visualize the thrill of driving the new RC F from both an emotional and physical perspective. With each exhilarating turn, the aptly named Heartbeat Car uses a standard heartbeat monitor and embedded sensors to measure the driver’s heartbeat, and then send the data wirelessly to an Arduino-based control board in its trunk, Mashable Australia reveals.
The custom-built board takes the electrical signal collected from the sensors and prompts the electrifying paintwork — which contains phosphorescent substances that emit light particles in response to alternating currents — to display it in a pre-determined, pulsating pattern on the car’s exterior panels. The system relies upon a 13V auxiliary battery, which draws power from the car’s charging system when the engine is on.
When the system is turned off, onlookers would think nothing more of the RC F coupe with its standard silver finish, unknowing of the magical properties that lie beneath its surface.
The project, which took roughly six months to complete, was a collaboration between Lexus Australia and Tricky Jigsaw, M&C Saatchi Australia’s creative technology division. It started at a closed-off track in southern New South Wales, with the team’s first objective being to find out how driving affects the human body. Unfortunately, the Heartbeat Car is just a concept with no future plans to add this feature to Lexus vehicles. However, the idea certainly demonstrates the next generation of embedded design as currently being seen throughout the wearable space.
“From Fitbits to Apple Watches it’s evident that we’re hooked on personal stats,” Ben Cooper, Group Innovation Director of Tricky Jigsaw and M&C Saatchi Australia, tells WIRED UK. “A car that can understand the driver’s biometric outputs provides all manner of possibility. Imagine mapping biometric with telemetric data to understand what stresses the driver. Could your car temper road rage or recognize tiredness? Perhaps other data such as weather and traffic could also lead us to understand optimal times to drive?”
We’ve heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve, and from the looks of things, you may one day be able to do the same on your car!