First attention-driven car is Australian

An Australian company is the first to create an attention-driven car to help prevent accidents caused by driver distraction.

Commissioned by the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC), the modified Hyundai i40 sets the speed of the car to suit the level of attention the driver is paying to the road.

The headset, made by Emotiv, measures brain activity and looks at eye motion, blinking rates, and head motion to judge whether the driver is distracted by other tasks.

A total of 14 sensors are used to measure the attention span of the driver. When he or she appears distracted or is 'zoning out' the engine automatically slows down. When the driver focuses back on driving, it speeds up again.

Volunteers who tested the system were given specific tasks to do while driving, such as using their mobile, reading something or changing the radio station.

If you're a fleet manager, you're probably aware that distractions are a leading cause of accidents.

RAC figures show that driver distraction was a feature of 46 per cent of fatal road crashes.

Technology, unsurprisingly, is a huge culprit for diverting our attention and is a component of around 15-20 per cent of all distraction related accidents.

There are some ways to reduce driver distraction, and those who look after fleet management may want to highlight the dangers of inattention to drivers and point out these ways to reduce the risks.

- Turn off mobile phones while driving. Even hands-free mobiles are a distraction for many drivers.

- Check your map ahead of time so you know where you're going.

- Before you leave, make sure you adjust all the controls in the car, like the radio and mirrors as well as checking the windscreen is clear.

- Don't eat, drink or groom yourself while in the drivers seat. It is much better to pull over.

- Ask passengers to be quiet if you need to.

- Identify what it is that distracts you and avoid doing it while driving.