Attention! This car is powered by human brainwaves

Pay Attention

The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) of Western Australia has introduced the worlds first Attention powered car. Did you pay attention to the announcement?

Attention powered car
Image credit: RAC

How it works

Using brainwaves, the driver wears a headset while driving. The headset measures brain activity in real-time and monitors if the driver is focused by measuring the following criteria; engagement, excitement, fatigue, head movement rate and distraction. If the driver loses focus due to say, a sudden text message on their mobile phone and tries to take a sneak peek,  the device will detect that the driver has lost focus, and ‘reacts’ by slowing down the vehicle. As discussed earlier,  hands free technology doesn’t help minimize risk, so going along this particular route may be a step in the right direction.

Headset
The Headset. Image Credit: CNET

The Car slows down if at least one of these 3 things happen:

1. You switch tasks. i.e. your attention goes from the road to the radio.2. Your neural activity dips, or your blink and eye scan rate slows significantly i.e. you’re zoning out or fatigued.

3. The in-built Gyroscope detects that you’ve significantly turned your head away from the road.

International appeal?

Just like Sri Lanka, road safety is an issue around the world, with inattentive driving causing upto 12% of all motor accidents in Western Australia. Granted, the vehicle doesn’t look to be something which average motorists would buy-its highly unlikely that motorists would be inclined to wear a headset every time they go behind the wheel. Its a great tool to fight driver distraction but the results of these findings could be implemented in another way, say by creating an alarm which alerts motorists that they aren’t paying attention.

We are very excited about this technology. However, we want your thoughts. Tell us what you think in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.


Sources

Find out More: Inattention, For The Better. [Accessed 13th November 2014].

Find out More: RAC’s Attention Powered Car, For The Better. [Accessed 13th November 2014].

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