Kick off your shoes, take your foot off the pedal, lie back and relax.

Yes, this could be the next in-car experience. Autonomous driving would open the doors to lifestyle developments, such as in-car wellness during your road journey to avoid the stress-related effects from road rage, traffic jams and those slow frustrating Sunday drivers.

The automobile industry is jumping onto the wellness bandwagon, albeit years later than the multi-spa packages which today are a permanent fixture within the hospitality industry.

The pinnacle of autonomous driving, (known in the industry as “Level Five”), is when the car takes over and does everything a driver normally does. This results in redundant car time.

Enter Mercedes-Benz, who have introduced the concept of in-car spas to fill the spare time afforded from not driving. Their Energising Comfort Control option is the automotive business’s first version of a “wellness experience”.

Developments with the six-generation S-class are moving forward. Three years ago, the company introduced “fragrancing” the interior with scent triggered from sensors which detected when the inside needed refreshing.

With the new Mercedes-Benz cars, this concept is programmed to work together with other in-car wellness-laced features such as the seat massage programmes, pre-scheduled mood lighting, the steering wheel and door panel heaters and the soothing audio surround music system.

It doesn’t stop there.  The settings use “wellness” vocabulary – vitality, comfort, warmth, freshness, the list goes on with added sub-menus.

But, autonomous control is not here yet and your wellness on wheels experience has not reached its ultimate programme but rest assured it’s on the way. Until then, start your engine, turn on the neck heater, choose your seat massage setting, stay refreshed with an uplifting aroma and at the end of your journey, ask your car to park itself from your smartphone app.  Happy motoring!
Jane Wilson, editor of The Healthcare Holiday