Driver fatigue is a major cause of car accidents, and the prevention of fatigue is a major goal in the automotive industry. To reach the goal of zero traffic-accident fatalities, developing innovative solutions to prevent fatigue is a key objective. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of using a chemosignal-based alerting fragrance (Moodify Red) during a driving task as well as assessing if the fragrance has a measurable effect on driver sleepiness and attention.
This project has the potential of resolving one of the central unresolved issues relating to driver fatigue, namely the possibility to effectively counteract sleepiness when it appears. Developing a system that alerts a sleepy driver to avoid fatigue related accidents would indeed contribute towards the development of so-called zero vision vehicles. If the Moodify Red fragrance system has the desired effects on fatigued drivers, further research and development will be planned to test and implement the system in the operating environment.
Driving simulator experiments will be performed to determine the efficacy of the alerting fragrance in a relevant context. Twenty sleep-deprived individuals will perform driving tasks in a simulator. Alerting fragrance (Moodify Red) or inactive substance will be administered during the driving tasks in a cross-over double-blind design. The key performance indicators of this project will relate to sleepiness reduction and sustained driver performance. Outcome measures are subjective and objective sleepiness, vigilant attention and driving performance.