Audi is committed to making the future of self-propelled cars the least traumatic possible for people and has launched the “25th Hour” project to understand better what this type of vehicle does right or wrong. However, the answer will not come from conventional research, but from people’s brains.
In a simulator, created in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, the brand decided to apply augmented reality to an environment that mimics a four-seater with seats facing each other.
The glasses are integrated displays, and all the surroundings are images generated with the help of projectors. The idea is to replicate a trip in a fully autonomous, level 5 vehicle and identify how certain aspects, such as lighting, noise, and interaction with notifications and other internal functions, affect users positively or negatively.
Preliminary tests were done with 30 people; all considered “Millennials receptive to autonomous cars,” who underwent an electroencephalogram (EEG) to have their responses measured directly through the brain, in addition to electrodermal sensors to capture other physical reactions related to the experience.
People were given different stimuli, such as noises, social media updates, and the amount of light in the environment, as well as having some tasks that should be fulfilled during the process.
The conclusion of the Audi brand was that certain conditions might favor specific behaviors such as conversation, productivity or relax while walking around. The expectation of the brand is that the project will continue for some time.