Launched under the banner of ‘Unleash Your Potential’, INFINITI Middle East in collaboration with Emotiv Inc dared to validate that drivers of the Q50 Red Sport 400 achieved optimal levels of enjoyment, excitement and focus.
Through the data obtained from a representative sample of nearly 100 test drives, INFINITI proved that the car captures the excitement engagement and focus of drivers while still allowing them to enjoy the ride and was superior to that of another generic driving experience, as measured through a range of brain metrics.
In this innovative collaboration between INFINITI Middle East and Emotiv Inc., the real-time neural reactions of individuals were measured as they got behind the wheel of the recently launched INFINITI Q50 Red Sport 400. All data gathered was analysed by the experts at Emotive Inc. to ensure a thorough and unbiased interpretation of the data.
The data was evaluated against a scientifically validated behavioural performance model (Hebbian-Yerkes-Dodson [H.Y.D] model) to determine whether driving the Q50 Red Sport 400 elicited optimal levels of performance in these metrics.
Figure 1. Hebbian version of the Yerkes–Dodson law (H-Y-D) Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HebbianYerkesDodson.JPG
The first of the key measurements that were evaluated was excitement (arousal). While driving, all participants reached the optimal arousal zone (mean 0.582) according to the H-Y-D curve, indicated by the sharp spike in blue. This means that they experienced the perfect level of excitement whilst driving the Red Sport 400 – not so high that they would lose control of their emotions or so low that they were disinterested. This is in stark contrast to another generic driving experience (racing simulator) (mean 0.507), where it displays a much more spread out distribution. As seen in the graph below, there are moderate numbers of those with low and high arousal, but a very limited time near the optimal performance level.
Figure 2. Frequency distribution of Arousal (Excitement)
The post-driving data shows that the individuals were more relaxed, but still somewhat excited (mean 0.495). This is indicated by the green curve following a shape that roughly mirrors that of the driving curve, suggesting an ‘after-glow’ effect of the experience as they sat in the car after driving the Red Sport 400.
Focus was the second metric that was evaluated in the study. Focus is a measure of the proportion of time the brain is spending on any specific task. Driving is a multi-tasking experience and the expectancy was to see a mid-range reading for Focus during optimal driving as many parallel tasks need to be accomplished to keep the vehicle travelling safely on the desired route. While driving the Q50 Red Sport 400, Focus is sharply centred on the middle of the curve (mean 0.467), showing a high proportion of participants with an optimal level of focus during the drive (Figure 3).
This was quite an interesting finding as the thrill of driving the car with all its new features, does not interfere with their ability to focus. This is definitely a positive result because it shows that the drivers were consistently focused. In contrast, the driving simulation experience is spread out with an inconsistent experience (mean 0.504), demonstrating mixed periods of intense focus and very low concentration.
Figure 3. Frequency distribution of focus
After the drive, the results show that Focus levels drop slightly but still remain ‘in the zone’ (mean 0.412). At this point it is likely that they are experiencing a heightened level of awareness, perhaps taking in their surroundings and appreciating the details in the interior of the car.
The level on engagement a drive experiences is obviously a crucial one, and as such proved to be an important metric. Engagement is a measure of immersion of the participant in the current moment. Low Engagement levels correspond to boredom. We observed that Engagement is high for both the drive (mean 0.759) and post-drive (mean 0.710) showing that the participants are very much immersed in the experience. This effect is not seen during the driving simulation (mean 0.607), with a much flatter distribution curve (Figure 4).