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Exclusive research identifies formula to improve driver wellbeing Genesis’ own Professor of Calm, Dr. Oliver Jung, explains how sound pressure levels impact driver wellbeingStudy identifies the best and worst counties in Great Britain for mindful drivingEra of electrification encourages a more mindful driving experience as the car industry moves from petrol and diesel engines to quieter electric powerGenesis range of electric cars are optimised for relaxed driving enjoyment
FRANKFURT, Germany, Apr. 06, 2023: L/R + C4 + S2: In consultation with leading international therapist, Marisa Peer and its own Professor of Calm, Oliver Jung, Genesis has cracked the formula to mindful driving, leading to greater enjoyment and lower stress levels behind the wheel. The study also identified the best – and worst – places in Great Britain for mindful journeys.
According to the European Road Safety Observatory, up to a quarter of all road accidents are caused by driver distraction. Taking a more mindful approach can help improve concentration, improving safety and driver well-being.
Research by Genesis identified the four ingredients that impact how we feel behind the wheel – your location (L), the route (R), how comfortable you are (C) and the ambient sounds (S).
Distraction levels can be reduced by 85% when drivers practice mindful driving techniques, according to data from Monash University Accident Research Centre. It encourages us to be present in the moment, self-aware and focused on the task at hand. Mindfulness also promotes greater awareness and relaxation, allowing drivers to more easily anticipate challenges and take action, leading to enhanced safety and a more enjoyable driving experience.
The Genesis Mindful Driving Formula: L/R + C4 + S2
L – Location (Great British Mindful Driving Index)
Using key metrics such as traffic density, attractive landscapes and scenic stopping areas, Genesis has mapped the mindful driving counties index in Great Britain*. Scoring highly are counties that provide more pleasurable and engaged journeys due to roads with additional points of focus for the driver, man-made vistas or areas of outstanding natural beauty, elevation and visibility, greenery, woodland and lack of congestion. All aspects help increase concentration, induce calm and keep the driver ‘in the moment’.
Mid and West Glamorgan, Northumberland, Herefordshire and Shropshire top the list for most mindful driving experiences, while London, Manchester, Surrey and Gloucester present the least mindful conditions for driving.
Scenic views, natural landmarks and flowing roads not only improve mindfulness, but are also more likely to make drivers feel happier and mentally refreshed. A third of surveyed UK drivers said amazing views featured in their most prominent memory from previous driving trips, while 30% listed famous landmarks as a particular high point.
R – Route
Driving the same route regularly can lead to complacency, with motorists relying on muscle memory more than active driving skills. Participants in a recent study showed signs of being zoned out and driving without thinking about it. Driving a familiar route is the second most distracting factor, therefore changing up the route and considering a longer route is key to combat this and to encourage a more memorable journey.
Plan your route before leaving – knowing where you’re going helps reduce anxietyAllow extra time for unforeseen circumstances, such as traffic jams.To avoid ‘autopilot’ driving, vary your route to a regular destinationTake a break – pausing for 15 minutes every two hours helps reduce fatigue and boosts concentration. Combine it with an opportunity to top up the battery in an electric vehicle
C + S – Comfort and sound
Comfort and sound both play vital roles in driver wellbeing and optimising and controlling the interior surroundings will help to create the best possible mindful environment for the journey. Respondents cited a welcoming interior as helping promote relaxation, with 52% claiming comfortable seats improved mindfulness and 34% highlighting a smooth ride. When considering ambient cabin lighting, cool colours such as blue and green encourage alertness, particularly as blue light reduces levels of the sleep-related hormone melatonin, which in turn aids concentration.
Drivers reported that natural sound such as birdsong, water and wind have a positive effect on mood, and cognitive performance. This extends to music, with slower paced tunes reducing stress when navigating complex and congested routes. Electric cars benefit from a quieter natural soundscape and this creates a calmer, more serene cabin environment.
Make sure you have a comfortable driving positionReduce distractions on the move by adjusting seat and mirrors before setting offSet the climate control to 22 degrees celsius for optimal comfortIf available, use advanced autonomous driver aids to reduce your mental loadMusic with a tempo of 100 to 130 beats per minute fosters a calming environmentChoose music which has a positive effect on mood or switch off artificial noise and enjoy the natural sounds from your surroundings.Set ambient lighting with cool colours, such as green or blue, to increase alertness while maintaining surrounding levels of brightness at 300 lux (the measure of light intensity).
World-renowned therapist and best-selling author Marisa Peer, commented: “It is fascinating to observe what happens to our minds when we get behind the wheel of our car – because we have this seemingly innate ability to effortlessly switch our focus depending on the conditions and surroundings we find ourselves in.
“It is almost a hypnotic process, fuelled by the internal features of the car, which make us feel safe and comforted – allowing us to switch off from the outside world. In this flow state, we can let our minds run interrupted – problem-solving, processing the day and planning but it can also time for us to be more mindful by being present with the car. Feeling the different textures and movements of the controls, paying attention to landmarks and the flash of colours as other cars pass by – all bring us into the moment and give us a sense of clarity, somewhat like meditation.
“Ultimately driving really is much more of an ‘experience’ now, as we can choose optional extras, customise the interior and select features tailored to our interests – creating our own little haven of calm in an otherwise noisy world.”
Genesis features enhance mindful driving
38% of drivers reported lower stress levels when driving electric vehicles due to their reduced noise levels, paving the way for the era of electrification to help create improved driving conditions. With a combination of state-of-the-art technology and cutting edge design, Genesis electrified models offer class-leading comfort and refinement.
Noise Vehicle Harshness (NVH) is an area that Genesis has worked tirelessly on, including the reduction of wind noise by optimizing the aerodynamics of the car, such as the design of the mirrors and door seals in order to achieve better isolation.
Research shows that anxiety levels are reduced when the inside of the car reflects a traditional ‘living space’. With its trademark ‘Beauty of White Space’ design that takes its inspiration from traditional Korean ‘Hanok’ houses, Genesis interiors focus on simplicity and strength as well as offering unrivalled luxury and comfort.
New technologies have also been applied to further lower the interior noise, such as polyurethane foam-filled tyres. On GV60, Electrified GV70 and Electrified G80, Active Road-Noise cancellation plays inverted sound waves through the sound system to counteract internal noise.
GV60 also comes equipped as standard with pre-loaded “Sounds of Nature” as a media source in order to further enhance relaxation, with audio tracks like “Lively Forest”, “Calm Sea Waves” or “Warm Fireplace” which offer an alternative sound experience. These natural sounds have been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety*.
Also available is the electric “Active Sound Design” (e-ASD), a feature that allows the driver to tailor the electric motor sound. Options include E-motor that enhances the electric motor’s characteristics; G-engine that mimics a traditional combustion engine; and Futuristic for a more synthetic whirring sound.
Comfort is assured with the Ergo Motion Driver’s Seat, which features seven air cells each, which can be adjusted to ensure maximum comfort and posture. Recognized by Germany’s AGR (Aktion Gesunder Rücken, or Campaign for Healthier Backs) for its ergonomic design, this seat minimizes fatigue and ensures exceptional comfort.
Genesis’ own ‘Professor of Calm’, Dr. Oliver Jung, from the brand’s Noise Vehicle Harshness (NVH) & Development team, explains: “Low sound pressure levels in the vehicle compartment are reducing stress and tension and help to enhance the overall well-being while driving. For this reason, we have put a lot of effort in reducing the overall noise level in Genesis GV60”.
Jung adds, “We have been able to create a vehicle soundscape that is calm and quiet and perfectly supports the concept of mindful driving. The driver is hence able to listen to his or her favourite music or have a relaxed conversation with the passengers without significant interference from driving noise.”
To listen to the Genesis Mindful Drives playlist, please click here.
Notes to editors
*MacMillan research “Why Nature Sounds are Great for Relaxation.
Great British Mindful Driving Index
Mindful Focus and
Safety & Calm Index
Highlands & Islands
Tyne & Wear
*Overall Mindful Driving index, combines safety and calm factors as well as mindful focus factor
Safety and calm index: Main components of the Mindful Driving Index that focuses on factors indicative of driving where stress factors are reduced and safety factors optimised.
Mindful Focus Index: A combined index of factors that help optimise the ability of a driver to stay ‘in the moment’ (the essence of Mindfulness). Mindfulness helps drivers keep focused to ensure the wellbeing of themselves and of the people on the road around them.
About the formula:
The Genesis Mindful Driving formula is formed of four key elements: Location, Route, Comfort and Sound. It is a visual representation of all components and sub-components that affect mindfulness while driving.
L – Location is a Mindfulness Index score. This uses official data sources within each country/region to calculate a combined score. It is formed of weighted factors that contribute to driving quality and safety, such as congestion, traffic delays, road density, elevation and visibility & scenic focal points (full statistic breakdown available on request).
R – the L score (the combined factors) will impact the mindfulness of the chosen Route.
C4– Comfort is formulated from four factors. Setting up your in-car environment before you start the route, driving position, temperature and use of autonomous driver aids.
S2 – Sound is formulated from two factors. Choice between music vs natural sounds from the car/outside and, if music, the tempo and type of music.
Genesis brings premium cars with a luxury experience to Europe. The Korean brand has established itself as a true alternative within the premium segment, receiving multiple award wins in 2022. With a commitment to hospitality and great service, Genesis strives to build sincere relationships with customers and, above all, to respect the greatest luxury – their time. Embodying its unique design language ‘Athletic Elegance’, the brand continues to strengthen its range of vehicles and services across Europe having launched five premium luxury vehicles in 2021. Genesis introduced three electric vehicles in 2022 and, from 2025, all-new Genesis vehicles will be pure electric as part of the brand’s vision for a sustainable future. Genesis is also pursuing a goal to become carbon net zero by 2035.
For more information about Genesis and its definition of premium, please visit www.genesis.com.
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