JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Global automotive manufacturer Ford has developed a helmet that can be able to read the driver's mind so that it can help the driver focus better on the road. This helmet measures the driver's brainwave to monitor the mental energy and focus on various points on the road.
This system is used to help reveal the secrets of how professional drivers stay in the zone while driving at high speed and long distance. Preliminary results show the techniques used by pro-drivers,-such as breathing meditation and visualization, affect their brains' performance.
The researchers say similar techniques should be used by ordinary drivers to improve their focus. Ford Performance - a motor sport branch of the company - works with researchers from Kings College London and technology company UNIT9 to develop this device.
Together they modify FIA-approved helmets to load EEG (electroencephalography) headsets, devices that read the electrical activity of the brain.
"By using the EEG, we can create a mental map of the track and measure the mental energy accompanied by the driver for the task," said Yates Buckley, Technical Director of UNIT9 to Engadget, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The researchers first monitored the drivers, including World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx and World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier.
Both use mental training techniques to improve their race.
For example, Priaulx uses Silva meditation methods before every race.
This method brings the mind into a sense of relaxation where the right hemisphere is in the 'alpha state'. But the latest study also includes community members to see if their performance can also be improved by using breathing techniques and visualization.
Data from the pro racing racer was compared to the ordinary people's brain activity to see if their mental technique worked.
The study found that racecar drivers were more than 40 percent better than the average person in terms of ignoring the disorder.
When using specially designed visualization and training techniques, ordinary drivers increase their focus rate by nearly 50 percent.
In theory, EEG modified helmets can transmit data directly back to the support team during the race.
It can also be used by ordinary people to improve their driving skills and monitor how breathing and meditation techniques improve their performance.
"We live in a complex society where we can not easily rest, so mental training techniques can pave the way for us to stay healthy in an efficient way," said. Buckley.