Young Ladies About Town

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The Emotional Driving Test

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 21 September 2016
IMG 3343When I got the call about participating in an 'emotional driving test', one that would put my senses through their paces to determine my emotional intelligence behind the wheel, I jumped at the chance. What exciting technology, I thought to myself, and how on earth is it going to know how I feel and what I need to better myself into a cool, calm, collected driver? Only one, small problem. I don't drive.

Luckily, Hannah from Hyundai UK and the designated researcher for the test does, so it was no issue she arrived. With surprise, confusion and laughs, we swapped places for the day. I was to be the researcher, and she was to be the guinea pig. After hooking her heart monitor up and fixing the GoPro's in place (so behavioural psychologist Patrick Fagan could assess her reactions to the test), we were off on our 30 min designated route around London.IMG 3364
My job was to listen to the computer and complete its robotic voice orders throughout our drive. We had to remember to remain quiet to get a more accurate reading of Hannah's reactions and expressions to the test while on the road. My first task was to feed Hannah sour sweets, which she was more than happy about.

Throughout our route around Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster and back, the tasks varied: spraying new car smell, feeding her chocolate, smoothies and water, playing unnervingly loud car beeping noises and metal music (then turning it back to Pharell's 'Happy), spraying a seaside scent, speaking to Hannah for an allocated time about her day, and then opening a jar filled with petrol. On top of all that, we were told to open and close the windows sporadically, where noises from the aligning streets would be equally as loud and distracting. Needless to say, I wasn't even driving, and it was a rollercoaster of the senses.

Hannah handled the tasks well, and her driving was superb. Although there were some intense distractions, Hannah kept her calm. I failed my driver's test twice in America, so I can only imagine how I'd do in the middle of England's biggest city with IMG 3353noises and smells and tastes being thrown at me. Her GoPro footage will be sent back to Patrick to determine her emotional intelligence behind the wheel, and as well as what would conditions would best suit her for a casual and calm driving experience.

Over 1,000 people have taken the same test in the UK, and as it so happens, women are 12% angrier drivers than men.
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