Emotional arousal influences focus, attention, and decision-making, which are critical when driving. Studies have shown that both too high and too little arousal can have negative impact on driving performance. To help promote an optimal arousal level, this work considers a closed-loop navigation system that adapts its voice tonality in real-time based on the physiology of the driver. The Empathic GPS system comprises three different modes: 1) „neutral“ in which the voice of the navigation is always the same, 2) „congruent“ in which the perceived arousal of the voice mirrored the physiological arousal of the driver, and 3) „incongruent“ in which the voice of the navigation system mirrored the inverted arousal of the driver.
Below are sound files of exemplary navigation commands for both the calm and the aroused voice created with Amazon Polly from Amazon Web Services.