“ARE WE THERE yet? Are we there yet?”
Yes, it’s probably the most asked question in cars driving up and down the country but unusual research has shown that young backseat passengers might like it to be answered – not by Mam and Dad – but by Darth Vader.
The Star Wars’ villain has the voice which makes babies and toddlers the happiest, according to TomTom’s Navigation Laboratory.
The researchers say they wanted to make family journeys less stressful for parents and more enjoyable for sons and daughters after they discovered that the biggest source of disturbance in a car is “crying and unhappy children”.
Surprisingly, they found that Darth Vader’s navigation voice increased a child’s happiness by more than 68 per cent. Over 300 babies and toddlers took part in what they called Project Gaga, a six month study to find the perfect satnav voice for families.
“Our customers have been telling us for years that their TomTom navigation voice feels like part of the family,” said the company. “Now, it would seem that every family car should have Darth Vader on board to cheer-up children and parents alike.”
The Dark Lord’s breathy tones beat out happier characters such as Homer Simpson, Bugs Bunny and Yoda, who managed to reduce many babies to tears. Awww.