Emotional connection: what your brain experiences driving the Jaguar E-Pace
How does driving the Jaguar E-Pace make you feel? Measuring Kathryn Thomas’s brainwaves should help us find out
The all-New E‑Pace is Jaguar's first compact performance SUV combining looks, agility and dynamic driving.
How it feels to drive a Jaguar E-Pace, the luxury brand’s new and seriously smart compact SUV, is something existing Jaguar owners already have an idea of, but for others, an innovative driving experiment provides amazing insight.
In a road test with a difference, the luxury car marque carried out research with well-known TV presenter Kathryn Thomas in the driving seat. The experiment was designed to find out exactly how her brain responded to the experience of driving the new E-Pace.
Some of the emotions she experienced we might have been able to guess - after all, the Jaguar E-Pace is designed and engineered to be beautiful, fun and clever. It is also instantly recognisable as a Jaguar, with a sporting silhouette and a finely detailed interior that has been introducing new fans to the brand all around the world.
The in-car entertainment is top drawer too, thanks to a generous 10-inch Touch Pro touch screen system with four customisable home screens. The car features a range of clever options including a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, comprehensive navigation aids and even visibility of key vehicle data on the windscreen. The result is a car that not only looks beautiful but is practical and digitally connected too.
Just how connected we humans are to the cars we drive was the basis of Kathryn Thomas’s unique road trip. Before getting behind the wheel, Thomas donned the latest in high-tech wearable devices - an Emotiv Insight headset. It’s a five-channel, wireless headset that records your brainwaves and translates them into meaningful data.
It does this using EEG (electroencephaloraphy), a technology initially designed to monitor neurological conditions in medical settings. The Emotiv Insight takes this technology and applies it to everyday experiences, using advanced electronics that are optimised to produce clean, robust signals anytime, anywhere. As next-generation “brainware” it is the perfect match for a next-generation luxury vehicle like the E-Pace.
So what was Jaguar looking for? The Emotiv Insight headset uses raw data from the brain to measure six cognitive and emotional metrics. These are: focus, stress, excitement, relaxation, interest and engagement.
The measurements the headset picks up can indicate the varied and changing emotions felt by a driver, such as focus while concentrating or stress while in heavy traffic.
The test proved it is possible to observe how pleasurable a driving experience can be, indicating the relaxation afforded by sitting into a comfortable driving seat and even the impact of simply being surrounded by luxury and comfort. These kind of emotions were previously impossible to measure.
I wasn’t surprised to see such positive stats though. It was such a pleasure to drive; and with lots of exciting technology inside the car, I could make the most of my journey with so much comfort and convenience
So how did Kathryn get on? Commenting on her experience, Kathryn Thomas said, “I was fascinated to see the results of the Emotiv monitor as I spend a considerable amount of time driving. I wasn’t surprised to see such positive stats though. It was such a pleasure to drive; and with lots of exciting technology inside the car, I could make the most of my journey with so much comfort and convenience.”
Technology expert Andy O’Donoghue organised the experiment and was fascinated by the results: “I had been playing with the headset from a research perspective for a year. After all, being able to measure how a person is feeling has amazing commercial applications. For example, it allows brands to see exactly how a shopper in a supermarket might feel about various products and even packaging as they move through the store.”
The Jaguar E-Pace experiment studied Thomas’s brain response before, during and after the drive, unearthing interesting insights into the overall experience.
“What was really clear was how, just by sitting into the car, we saw Kathryn’s interest and engagement levels rise. When she drove we were able to measure how her stress measurements rose in heavy traffic. We also saw how, as she moved on out of Dublin city and headed south through Glenageary and on to Dalkey, her stress levels fell and her relaxation levels rose significantly,” says Andy.
“The headset is amazingly finely-tuned, receiving around 1,000 signals a second. That allowed us to see exactly how her interest levels peaked with each new feature of the E-Pace she discovered. What it showed me unquestionably was just how emotionally attached we are as humans to the cars we drive. We could see clearly, for example, how much something like heated seats add to a driver’s relaxation levels.”
It’s a perfectly-designed 21st century car: connected, modern and practical, and utterly engaging to drive
Of course, with a Jaguar E-Pace, heated seats are only the start. Everything Jaguar has created with its award-winning range of saloons and sports cars and, of course, its World Car of the Year F-Pace SUV, has benefitted the development of the E-Pace. The compact performance SUV features an all-wheel-drive system that is packed with technology that is designed to ensure the joy of driving a Jaguar, whatever the conditions.
And the E-Pace ensures you remain connected even if you’re not wearing a high-tech Emotiv Insight headset. Using the very latest hardware and software developed in Jaguar’s digital laboratories, it connects to all your devices, allowing seamless access to networks and data.
In short, it’s a perfectly-designed 21st century car: connected, modern and practical, and, as we know from Kathyrn Thomas’s experience, utterly engaging to drive.
It’s beautiful to look at, fun to get to know and possesses the integrity that comes from Jaguar. With prices starting from €36,000, the Jaguar E-Pace is a car for all the family - but especially for the driver.
For more see jaguar.ie