Article accepted in top CS journal-ACM Interactive, mobile, Wireless and Ubiquitous Technology IMWUT/UBICOMP 2018

JUST BREATHE - IN CAR INTERVENTIONS FOR GUIDED SLOW BREATHING

January 29, 2018

Abstract

Motivated by the idea that slow breathing practices could transform the automobile commute from a depleting, mindless activity into a calming, mindful experience, we introduce the rst guided slow breathing intervention for drivers. We describe a controlled in-lab experiment (N =24) that contrasts the e ectiveness and impact of haptic and voice guidance modalities at slowing drivers’ breathing pace, which is a known modulator of stress. The experiment was conducted in two simulated driving environments (city, highway) while driving in one of two driving modes (autonomous, manual). Results show that both haptic and voice guidance systems can reduce drivers’ breathing rate and provide a sustained post intervention e ect without a ecting driving safety. Subjectively, most participants (19/24) preferred the haptic stimuli as they found it more natural to follow, less distracting, and easier to engage and disengage from, compared to the voice stimuli. Finally, while most participants found guided breathing to be a positive experience, a few participants in the autonomous driving condition found slow breathing to be an unusual activity inside the car. In this paper, we discuss such considerations, o er guidelines for designing in-car breathing interventions, and propose future research that extends our work to on-road studies. Altogether, this paper serves as foundational work on guided breathing interventions for automobile drivers.