WELLNESS ON WHEELS
Car brands design vehicles geared toward wellness
Millennials have given rise to the modern wellness movement, challenging brands to innovate their products and services to cater to this cohort’s need to achieve physical, emotional, and mental wellness. The following car brands are turning their vehicles into wellness spaces so that drivers need only hop in their rides to relax and de-stress.
Kia is pioneering A.I. technology that can recognize a driver's physical and emotional state and make adjustments based on their in-the-moment needs. The bio-signal recognition technology (called Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving System, or R.E.A.D.) debuted at CES this year. It uses sensors to analyze a person’s facial features, heart rate, and the electrical activity of their skin and then personalizes the car’s interior to create an environment geared toward comfort and wellness, like adjusting lighting or emitting calming scents. While this technology is still in the works, Kia’s ultimate goal is to create continuous dialogue between car and driver through “the unspoken language of feeling.”
Mercedes-Benz is designing a veritable spa on wheels. The luxury car brand is souping up its fleet of autonomous vehicles with features that promote overall well-being. The cars are equipped with different settings—like freshness, warmth, vitality, joy, comfort, and balance—which trigger interior adjustments geared toward that feeling or goal. Additionally, a driver can connect to the system’s fitness tracker, which monitors their physiological state and automatically makes in-car adjustments that help reduce their stress. Being that the wellness features are part of Mercedes’ line of autonomous vehicles, drivers can sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience while the car takes them from point A to point B.
Lincoln’s 2020 Aviator and Corsair have been designed with wellness in mind. The new SUVs are built with comfort features that specifically promote physical and mental well-being, with extra large windows and sunroofs to let in light and the sight of nature, a soothing monochromatic color scheme, and noise-cancelling cabins that block out the sounds of the world outside. Additionally, Lincoln’s vehicles feature customizable seats that have a massage feature and can be positioned in 30 different ways to reduce neck and back strain. With Americans spending an average of 290 hours a year behind the wheel, time in the car can be a unique opportunity to help them achieve relaxation and wellness.