We've all been there: You're sitting in endless traffic, someone just cut you off (again), your neck tenses up, your hands grip the wheel so hard you might shatter it as rage sweat starts pouring down your face.
Audi feels your pain. So, at this week's Consumer Electronics Show they unveiled FitDriver, which is basically a FitBit for your ride. AutoBlog reported that when paired with an Apple Watch or FitBit, the system will "monitor heart rate and skin temperature [and] the car's sensors can track a driver's breathing and driving style."
In a press release announcing FitDriver, Audi said vehicle sensors will also pull in outside data about weather or traffic conditions and, paired with the "current state of the driver, such as elevated stress or fatigue ... various vehicle systems act to relax, vitalize, or even protect the driver." How? By cranking up a "relaxing or invigorating seat massage, suitable climate control, adaptive infotainment and a fitting interior lighting concept."
Wait, what? Yeah, when the car senses your stress, it can lower the temp in the cabin, give you a back rub or fire up a video tutorial with "specially designed breathing exercises." It can even kick in something called "intelligent rest break management," which crunches the numbers on traffic flow and recommends taking a break at the nearest rest area instead of stewing on a high-speed parking lot.
In the future, Audi promised to get even more virtually hands-on by offering "piloted driving functions" that, in extreme situations, will take over and initiate an emergency stop while dialing 911. All good news. The bad news, for now anyway, is that the system will only be available on German car models.