Mind reading next on Ferrari's agenda



Although we haven't had the pleasure of driving one, we'd imagine that driving the new Ferrari 458 Italia is much like piloting a jet fighter; the control surfaces are so finely tuned and responsive that it feels like the machine is almost reading your mind as you throw it from corner to corner.

Most manufacturers would be content with delivering that level of experience, but not Ferrari. Apparently the supercar maker's engineers are working on technology which actually monitors the driver's mental state – and adjusts the car's electronic stability systems to match.

A number of patent applications, revealed by Autocar, show that Ferrari is planning a range of in-car biometric and psychometric sensors to assess respiration, blood pressure, heart rate, blink rate, temperature, perspiration and even brain activity.

The documents suggest that these sensors would mounted round the cabin (presumably the steering wheel and driver's seat would be festooned with them) to constantly measure the driver's psycho-physical condition.

But why you might ask? Well, the reason for Ferrari's interest in how much you sweat or blink is that it believes most people adjust the car's performance setting according to their liking rather than how they're actually feeling.

The manufacturer describes this in its patent as the driver 'overestimating' their physical and mental condition. It has obviously decided that the technology could potentially do a better job of setting the traction control that the tired, frustrated, fallible human being behind the steering wheel.
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