Distracted driving causes a lot of accidents. Reading maps, fiddling with the radio, talking on the phone or--worst of all--texting on the phone can get people killed. So as an experiment, Emotive, a neuroengineering company, and the Royal Automotive Club of Western Australia built the Attention Powered Car.
Sensors on the driver’s head measure brain activity. When a computer reads the signals and determines that the driver is switching between mental tasks too often, it slows down the car. Geoff Mackellar, the CEO of Emotive, says that the system is highly effective:
Most interesting is the fact that Mackellar could tell when a driver was about to be distracted. The headset and machine learning were about to be distracted even before you grabbed your phone to send a text. “I was surprised that we could detect the level of intention to do something,” he says.