Researchers claim to have developed the world's first attention-powered car – a pioneering vehicle that uses a headset to monitor brain activity and slow acceleration during periods of distraction.
The car commissioned by the The Royal Automobile Club of West Australia (RAC) was tested in Perth in a bid to prevent road accidents due to inattention.
The makers describe it as a "car that goes when you're paying attention, and slows when you're not."
The technology behind the vehicle uses a neuro headset that connects to brain activity linked to the car's engine via customised software, 'PerthNow' reported.
The software communicates with the car and slows the vehicle when the driver's level of concentration lapses.
The headset measures the electrical activity in a person's brain and feeds it into an algorithm that determines if the driver is paying attention or not.
When a person is not paying attention, the software sends a cut-off signal to the car and the accelerator switches to idle safely slowing the car down.
The car loses power to the accelerator when one or a combination of three things happen: you switch tasks ie your attention goes from the road to the radio; your neural activity dips, or your blink and eye scan rate slows significantly when you are tired; or the Gyroscope detects that you've significantly turned your head away from the road.
The RAC will use the Attention Powered Car to directly engage people and raise awareness about inattention and possibly find solutions to help save lives on our roads.
"The Attention Powered Car will assist people to understand the importance of paying attention and what the factors are distracting us while we drive," said RAC Executive General Manager Pat Walker.