The Attention Powered Car was a technology project for RAC created as the centerpiece of their experiential awareness campaign on the issue of driver inattention. Designed with an innovative use of neuro-technology, the project was based on a series of baseline tests, car simulators and test track data to discover what attention actually looks like when you’re driving. The variables analysed included alpha waves, blink rate, blink duration, gaze rate, head tilt and frequency of task switching.
In a world first an algorithm for attention loss that measures inattention was created and software was developed to communicate this as an output directly to a custom-built circuit board plugged into the car’s onboard computer system. With this information the car was able to ignore the accelerator every time the driver’s attention dropped below this level. The car’s function evolved to become a mobile test lab for researching the issue and testing: causes vs. solutions, resulting in the first live road study of its kind.