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The Emotional Commuter

The emotions and driving characteristics that can improve traffic flow
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Good Health and Well-being
Closed for application


Every driver has unique characteristics that are intrinsically linked to their emotional state.  This state can change quickly depending on what is going on in a person's life. Indeed, even in a single short journey, a commuter’s emotions can oscillate dramatically.  This emotive state influences everything from speed and acceleration, to braking reaction times and lane-changing tendencies.  

The Challenge

In this challenge, we want to build a traffic simulator that directly accounts for commuters' emotional states and use this model to directly relate emotive well-being to traffic flow. All things being equal, does a calm and emotionally balanced driving pool make for a faster commute?

Learning Outcomes

Students on this challenge will have the opportunity to acquire the following outcomes:

  • Work in a multi-disciplinary team to explore commuters’ emotional states
  • Design a prototype for a traffic simulator that contributes to improved traffic flow and the well-being of the commuter.

Target Groups

Commuters, citizens, vast majority of society. 

It is expected that solving this challenge will enhance the experience of commuters and generally contribute to a better sense of societal well-being. 

Application deadline

26th September 2022

Format and Workload

This challenge will be entirely online,  supported by the DCU Virtual Learning Environment.

Workload will include 3 x 0.5 day online synchronous attendance plus approx. additional 12 hours working as a remote team advancing the challenge. Synchronous days are 10 am - 12 noon IST on 4th November, 21st November and 2nd December 2022.

Additional requirements

Mathematical and simple programming background is necessary to adequately engage with this challenge.