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The Worry Wagon--MIT puts stress test on wheels

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Cars make Kael Greco nervous. He’s got the computer readouts to prove it.

“I don’t drive that much,” said Greco, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s program in urban planning. And when he does drive, Greco is being watched. His rented Zipcar is rigged with an array of digital monitoring devices that measure Greco’s state of mind as he cruises through the challenging traffic of Greater Boston.

Greco and his colleagues at MIT’s Senseable City Laboratory are trying to establish the first rigorous scientific standard for measuring the emotional stress of driving. Their proposed “Road Frustration Index” could help automotive designers and road engineers craft innovations to ease the tension of auto travel.

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