What is the Attention Powered Car?

Australia’s Royal Automobile Club, in collaboration with scientists and technology experts, has developed a vehicle that slows down automatically when it detects a lack of focus by the driver.

While the so-called “Attention Powered Car” is not planned for mass production, it will serve to promote highway safety advancements across the country and beyond.

Fitted to a Hyundai i40, the system looks at a driver’s brain activity in real time using a 14-sensor headset that monitors electrical activity from the frontal, temple, parietal and perceptual areas of the brain. It also checks neural sleep patterns, eye movements, and blink rate which can reflect fatigue — a key indicator of inattention. The final check is a gyroscope that can tell if the driver’s head is turned away from the road.

In the event of inattentive driving, the system will automatically apply the brakes. Once the driver regains his or her focus, the car will re-accelerate.

“The effects of inattention behind the wheel can be compared to those of speeding and drunk driving in terms of injuries and fatalities,” says the Royal Automobile Club.

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