Nissan's new technology – due to be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, this month – places a device on the driver’s head that can measure brainwave activity.
It can foresee upcoming movements such as steering adjustments, the throttle or brakes. The tech also enforces them using driver assist technology – and also does so between 0.2sec and 0.5sec quicker than the human driver can. Nissan said it does this while remaining largely imperceptible, thus improving safety. The carmaker also claims that it enhances manual driving.
“When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan's executive Vice-President. “Yet, brain-to-vehicle technology does the opposite by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable.”
Additionally, the technology also allows the car to understand the mood and state of its driver. This is useful for situations when a car is in fully autonomous mode. It enables the vehicle to adjust its driving style or drive settings to improve comfort. Nissan also said the system can adjust what the driver sees using augmented reality to create a “more relaxing environment”.
“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” added Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Centre in Japan. “This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovation inside our vehicles in the years to come.”