Could the future of fitness be behind your steering wheel?

By Macaela Mackenzie
August 10, 2017

Imagine a world where your commute home from work after a long day meant getting in your car, switching on auto-pilot, leaning back, and indulging in a spa-worthy massage. Or maybe after a tough hot yoga class, you climb into the driver's seat for some light stretching and aromatherapy to keep your zen going strong? The prospect of cars becoming fully autonomous in the (very) near future doesn't just give off Jetson vibes, it also poses automakers with an interesting question: What will the "driver" do if they're not driving? At Mercedes-Benz, they're answering that question with a car that brings the gym and spa to you.

The new Mercedes S-Class is a wellness center on wheels. While it features futuristic self-driving features like auto-pilot lane changes and turns (the company says it's the most advanced self-driving car on the market, reports Fast Company), we're eyeing the luxury car's self-care elements that effectively turn your commute into a stay at Canyon Ranch. The in-car ENERGIZING Comfort program includes voice-guided exercises, in-seat massages, and mood-enhancing music, lighting, and aromatherapy. It's basically like a yoga class, massage, and meditation session that comes with airbags and a handy nav system. Say goodbye to road rage.

"Drivers" can select a range of wellness-themed programs designed to boost your mood-Joy, Vitality, Freshness, Comfort, Warmth, and Training-right on the car's console, according to a report by Forbes. The Training mode essentially puts you in the presence of a personal trainer or yoga instructor. The 10-minute program walks you through simple ergonomic exercises like shoulder rolls, pelvic floor activation, and booty clenches. It even includes a few facial muscle exercises, which will get you smiling and feeling light and happy even in the worst traffic jams, says Daniel Mücke, head of Mercedes's ENERGIZING Comfort program, to Fast Company.

Mücke continues by saying the idea is to recoup some of that sedentary seated time you spend behind the wheel (which research shows can do everything from up your risk for cardiovascular disease to increase your anxiety) by engaging your body as cars take over driving duties.

Now if only your car could help you get through cardio.