Staffan Davidsson
Staffan Davidsson, PhD at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Lars Andersson

New research about personally customized cars

Published: 20 November 2014

Imagine cars that adapts to the driver's driving characteristics, or even character traits. It may sound like science fiction but new research at Luleå University of Technology shows that the possibility exists.

- So far, it is only possible in theory, but there are few technical obstacles to the realization of such a development, says Staffan Davidsson, PhD at Luleå University of Technology.

Tailored to individual needs

It is in the thesis Adaptive Driver Information recently presented at Luleå University that Staffan Davidsson explored the possibilities for customizable cars. Briefly, the research is about the cars possibility to adapt the information to the driver's mental workload, where the car is, the driver's knowledge but actually also to the individual's personality. For example, sensation seekers need stronger warnings and easily bored needs extra stimulation during the monotony to not falling asleep at the wheel.

Will cover the extremes

- By looking at the driving behavior we can to a certain extent to predict the level of, for example, sensation seeking a person has. This knowledge can then be used to customize the information in the car, says Staffan Davidsson who believe that this kind of evolution of car design could save lives.

- It is certainly my hope. The idea is that with adaptivity we can get the system to also cover the extremes. Usually the cars are designed for 90-95% of the population but I believe that most accidents are, relatively speaking, takes place in the group outside of this.

The circle is closed

Staffan Davidsson is located at Volvo Cars in Gothenburg but he also has a long and strong relationship with Luleå University of Technology.

- I took an MSc here in 1993 and those years were probably the best in my life. Now that I get to come back to Luleå and doctorate more than twenty years later, it feels like the circle is closed.