Yeah, you read that right: Ferrari is working on electronic systems that will enable to sense what the driver is thinking, then step in to keep things in line when the driver runs the risk of going past his or her limits. That clanging sound you hear? That’s the Terminator theme music.
A series of patent applications filed around the world lays out the plan: to add “various (preferably non-invasive) biometric and psychometric sensors for recording and transmitting…a number of psychophysical parameters of the driver.” (We’d hope they’re non-invasive.) Devices to measure respiration, blood pressure, heart rate. Cameras to monitor how often you blink. Sensors that determine how much you’re sweating, and to measure your body temperature. Even (and this is a direct quote) “a device for monitoring the electric activity of the driver’s brain.” (Emphasis ours.)
Ferrari says the system would be used mainly to improve driver safety—detecting whether a driver is alert enough to drive aggressively or not. If it decides the pilot doesn’t have the right stuff right now, it’ll override you. “Drivers tend to miscalculate—in particular, overestimate—their driving skill and, more importantly, their psychophysical condition,” says Ferrari’s patent application, “with the result that driver-selected dynamic vehicle performance simply reflects the driver’s wish, as opposed to the driver’s actual psychophysical condition and proficiency.” Which means Ferrari drivers of the future ought to become familiar with this phrase: “Mi spiace Dave, non posso farlo.” [via Autocar]