Of all the devices designed to curb driver distraction, here’s one that goes straight to the source: the brain.
Emotiv, maker of a variety of electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring headgear, and the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia have teamed up to create the Attention Powered Car. It features Emotive’s EPOC neuroheadset that, when worn, measures the brain’s electrical activity to gauge the driver’s focus. Measured factors that dictate concentration are blink rate and duration, eye movement and head tilts.
The headset interface includes custom software integrated with the car’s operating system and engine. If there are any lapses in concentration, the car — a Hyundai i40 — slows down to about 9 miles per hour as a way of alerting the driver that his or her attention is veering off the road. The vehicle only runs at full speed when it senses drivers are giving their task full attention.
As of now, the Attention Powered Car is only a prototype. However, researchers have been experimenting with the car on a track to test how various tasks, such as fiddling with the radio or sending text messages, affect driver attention. Check out the car in action and remember, keep your eyes on the road and your hand upon the wheel.
Credit: Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia