Prone to Road Rage? 'Active Wellness' Car Seat Aims to Calm You Down

by Laura Petti, CNBC /  / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Call it a car seat that helps reduce road rage.

Automotive parts manufacturer Faurecia is developing an Active Wellness seat to monitor emotions of drivers. The seat detects stress and fatigue via built in seat sensors, and then offers a customized treatment to the driver.

Image: Active Wellness car seat
This Active Wellness seat is designed to monitor emotions of drivers.Faurecia

"If you're stressed out, your heart rate increases and your respiration increases," Faurecia's Vice President of Innovation, Rob Huber, told CNBC's Closing Bell. "If you press 'stress detected,' it'll give you a soothing massage and a warming sensation that will calm you down."

Likewise, the seat works if the driver is fatigued. If the sensor detects a lower heart rate, the Active Wellness seat will offer a lower back massage and a cooling sensation to the driver to wake them up.

Read More: Get out of my lane! The biggest road-rage triggers

"This car is about connectivity and understanding more about the individual person," Huber told CNBC.

According to the privately operated website dmv.org, emotional driving — like being stressed or having road rage — can be just as dangerous as talking on a cellphone while driving. While this new technology does not prevent outside distractions, Huber says it looks out for the overall wellbeing of the driver.

Read More" Are self-driving cars closer than we think?

Former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is skeptical there is demand for this type of technology in the automotive industry. Lutz told CNBC, "Sadly, my take on this is that it's the answer to a question that nobody asked."

While no partnerships have been announced, Huber claims there is interest from many automotive companies. As for cost of the smart seat, Huber says this technology will be a common solution in a premium vehicle initially, and then could migrate into a larger volume segment. Huber anticipates this product to be on the road in 2018 or 2019.

MORE FROM CNBC

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news