FEATURE2 November 2015

Eyes on the road

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Automotive Europe Features Impact Technology

Digital technology has allowed cars to become more ‘connected’ but this can also lead to driver distractions, so research into how drivers respond is vital. By Jane Bainbridge


As car manufacturers are incorporating more technologies into their vehicles, and connected cars are changing the in-vehicle driver experience, it has become vital to test how these technologies affect drivers and balance the conflicting interests of people wanting to be connected but also to be safe.

So market research agency Eye Square has been working with car brands and developing means of tracking drivers’ reactions with the help of implicit research techniques. The particular challenge has been in using multiple methods in combination with each other, to get more in-depth understanding of how connected technology impacts on driver safety and awareness.

The implicit methods used include eye tracking; facial emotion analysis; and physiological measures through EEG (electroencephalography) where brain activity shows a driver’s emotional state and EDA (electrodermal activity) which shows arousal.  

There are considerable physical constraints that the in-car environment presents researchers and any wearable devices must not impede the driver in any way.

“Driving is our primary task and then we ...