Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

How Nissan Will Read Your Thoughts

How Nissan Will Read Your Thoughts

Technology developed at Nissan in Japan which gathers and processes signals from a driver's brain, could be used to speed up reaction times, improve driver comfort, and even pave the way to a more personalised form of autonomous driving, the company claims.

The Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology shows a different approach to autonomous driving by allowing the human to maintain some control.

While the technology hasn't been implemented in any of Nissan's cars yet, it's early capabilities will be introduced to the world at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this weekend. According to Nissan, the systems can react 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster with this brain-monitoring pre-knowledge, which doesn't sound like much but can be a lifetime if the auto is travelling at motorway speeds. Nonetheless, as a diagnostic measure to evaluate how passengers acclimatize to driverless vehicles, it could prove very valuable in assisting Nissan to tune the drive modes its autonomous technology offers.

From there it gets a little stranger, as Nissan also claims the technology could employ "augmented reality to adjust what the driver sees and create a more relaxing environment". That might sound a bit creepy, but Nissan says its so-called B2V technology offers benefits for both manual and autonomous driving.

System can anticipate what a driver is going to do.

Instead of removing the human element completely, the driver's brain activity is measured and sent to the vehicle using a headband, the announcement said.

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B2V is the latest development in the company's move to transform how cars are driven, powered and integrated into society.

In the future, cars will not only be able to drive autonomously, they also may be able to read your mind.

"Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are moving people to a better world, by delivering more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity", Schillaci added. "This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovations inside our vehicles in the years to come".

Nissan would probably need some sort of less intrusive version if the technology was be practical for the market. But it shows how much scope there is for innovation in vehicle tech and interfaces especially when self-driving cars continue to be motor ahead in their development.

It'll be demonstrating the technology next week, at CES 2018.

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