Darth Vader in Your Car Makes Children Happier


    April Fools Joke 2012 Tom TomTomTom researchers discover the secret to stress-free family journeys

    London, 1st April 2012 – Following rigorous tests, researchers at TomTom’s Navigation Laboratory (NavLab) have discovered that Darth Vader’s navigation voice increases children’s happiness in the car by over 68%.  More than 300 baby and toddler volunteers took part in Project GAGA, a six month NavLab research project to find the perfect satnav voice for families with small children.

    “Everything we do is about making journeys better,” said Walter Hermsen VP Product Management.  “When we found that for 97% of parents, ‘crying and unhappy children’ is the single biggest source of disturbance in the car, we knew we had to find a solution and Project GAGA was launched.”

    In scientific tests, Darth Vader gained the highest happiness score with children aged six months to two years.  The Dark Lord’s voice was tested alongside 25 other popular satnav voices including Homer Simpson, Bugs Bunny and Yoda.  Children responded most positively to Darth Vader’s breathy tones, whilst Yoda’s voice reduced many babies to tears.

    “Our customers have been telling us for years that their TomTom navigation voice feels like part of the family,” continues Hermsen.  “Now, it would seem that every family car should have Darth Vader on board to cheer up children and parents alike.”

    TomTom has released video footage from NavLab showing a baby and toddler focus group in action.