Nissan says its technology can interpret drivers’ brainwaves. Pic: Supplied.
Nissan says its technology can interpret drivers’ brainwaves. Pic: Supplied.

The car that can read minds

Nissan claims to have developed a car that can read its driver's mind.

Software adapted from the medical profession is translating a driver's thoughts into action to improve vehicle responsiveness. The technology will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.

The software monitors brain wave activity to anticipate intended movement, be that turning the steering wheel or hitting the brakes. Nissan says the system can react between 0.2-0.5 second faster than the driver without being considered intrusive.

The B2V technology is meant to make driving more enjoyable in a semi-autonomous world by speeding up reaction times and having vehicles that constantly adapt to their owner's driving style.

Nissan vice-president Daniele Schillaci says the software takes connectivity to the next level.

"When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines. Yet B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable," Schillaci notes.

Other potential uses include adjusting the vehicle's internal environment, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center in Japan, who's leading the B2V research. For example, the technology can use augmented reality to adjust what the driver sees and create a more relaxing environment.

"The potential applications of the technology are incredible," Gheorghe said. "This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovation inside our vehicles in the years to come."

Nissan will use a driving simulator to demonstrate some elements of the technology at CES.


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