Nissan cars in the future will be able to read motorists’ minds to reduce reaction times and make autonomous driving more comfortable.
The Japanese car manufacturer today announced its Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology, which it says can predict human behaviour and detect when a driver is feeling uncomfortable thanks to “brain decoding technology”.
Brain waves are intercepted by a headband worn by the driver and interpreted by on-board computers.
Nissan claims it can cut reaction times by picking up the signals that suggest a driver is about to make a movement, such as turning the wheel or accelerating, and priming driver-assist technologies.
The manufacturer says this means the car can act 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than a driver, which could make a big difference in reducing the time between seeing stationary traffic and braking, for example.
It also says the technology could be useful in autonomous vehicles, as the system can monitor discomfort and adjust drive settings to compensate. Nissan even suggests that augmented reality could be used so that the driver sees a different environment outside to create a more relaxing experience.
Executive vice-president Daniele Schillaci said: “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.
“Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are moving people to a better world by delivering more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity.”
Nissan unveiled research today that will enable vehicles to interpret signals from the driver's brain, redefining how people interact with their cars. Find out more at #CES2018 or check out our video: https://t.co/NlVEWlg5IM pic.twitter.com/X33nOxIcDM
— Nissan (@Nissan) January 3, 2018
Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Centre in Japan, who is leading the project, said: “The potential applications of the technology are incredible. This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovation inside our vehicles in the years to come.”
Nissan will be displaying its B2V technology on a driving simulator at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas between January 8 and 12.