The World’s First Attention-Powered Car

To raise awareness about the the dangers of driving while distracted, RAC, an Australian roadside services company, has created the “Attention Powered Car”.

The test car slows when drivers are distracted and then starts accelerating again when they begin paying attention. The car works with a headset designed by neuroengineering company Emotiv that measures the driver’s brain signals. The headset tracks blink rate, blink duration, gaze rate, head tilts and how often drivers switch tasks. An algorithm then uses this data to determine whether the driver is paying attention.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a neat, innovative use of electroencephalography (EEG) and other mechanical technologies. Although it’s just a test car for now, I this could be an effective way to bring attention to the problem of being distracted while driving. People often use their phones while driving, even though doing so is illegal in many places, and we know this inattentiveness in increasingly causing more auto accidents. It will be interesting to see if this type of car makes its way to market.

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