To investigate the emotive aspects of driving, Audi and the Senseable City Lab are working together to develop the Road Frustration Index, a project that combines realtime data on traffic, incidents, weather and driver sentiment across 30 metropolitan areas in the US to approximate the level of road-induced stress in each locale.
To calibrate the frustration algorithm, we designed a series of experiments that measure stress and frustration during real-world driving tasks using physiological sensors and an array of face/body tracking technologies (including a hacked Microsoft Kinect).
The video above documents the first of such trials—a chaotic drive through the congested streets of Boston during peak traffic. It also demonstrates just how stressful driving can be in relation to other ordinary and not-so-ordinary activities. The results were quite surprising—especially when extreme sports got involved.