Nissan is developing brain-to-vehicle technology that it claims enables the vehicle to take actions up to 0.5sec quicker than the driver.
The technology, due to be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show 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 adjustments to steering, the throttle or brakes, and enforce them using driver assist technology between 0.2sec and 0.5sec quicker than the human driver can.
Nissan said it does this while remaining largely imperceptible, improving safety and, it claims, enhancing 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 Nissan executive vice president Daniele Schillaci. “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 when a car is in fully autonomous mode because 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.”