TECH
05/20/2011 11:04 am ET | Updated Jul 20, 2011

With Ford Sync, Your Car Could Tell You If Your Allergies Will Act Up

Ford is building new technology that would enable your car to tell you how you're feeling, whether you need more allergy medicine, and how to stay healthy.

Ford has developed a prototype for a health and wellness system integrated with its Sync in-car technology designed to monitor health issues such as asthma, allergies, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

Sync, which currently provides navigation, hands-free calling, Pandora music streaming, and other services, could eventually be used to connect to medical devices, such as those monitoring glucose levels, cloud-based medical services, and apps.

"It's our first step toward creating the car that cares," Gary Strumolo, manager of vehicle design and infotronics at the Ford Research Lab told the Huffington Post. "Safety is a big and important issue for us and what we want to do is move beyond the conventional definition of safety, which includes a strong body structure and airbags that deploy correctly, to a car that is concerned with the well-being of the driver and passengers."

Strumolo suggested that integrating Ford's Sync technology with a Medtronic gluocose monitoring device would enable a parent to use voice commands to check the glucose level of a diabetic child in the back seat. Or by syncing the Allergy Alert app with Sync, a car could warn an allergy-prone driver about that day's pollen count, adjust the climate control system to minimize the allergens in the air, or even use location-based services to remind her to buy allergy medicine when she's near a pharmacy.

While GPS systems currently provide users with choices between "shortest," "quickest," or "most fuel efficient" routes, Strumolo noted that in the future, Ford's cars could work with other apps to monitor air quality and present a "healthiest" route option.

These capabilities are still years away from being implemented in vehicles, and Strumolo said that the company is "not ready to say" when these technologies might be available.

See video demonstrations of the prototype technology below. Would you want to have this kind of a "car that cares?" What technology do you most want to see in the cars of the future?

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