The technology, called Mind Sense, uses embedded sensors and an on-board computer to monitor brainwaves via the driver's fingers on the steering wheel.
If the system detects a serious drop in concentration, warning signals, such as vibrations in the steering wheel or pedals, attempt to raise the driver’s awareness. Additional warning sounds, or icons, can be activated if necessary.
Because they're further away from the driver’s head, software amplifies the brainwave signals in the fingers. The technique is currently used by NASA and the US bobsleigh team to develop concentration and focus.
Another monitoring system is being developed that measures the driver’s heartbeat and respiration rate to detect drowsiness, stress, or a serious medical condition.
The monitor is incorporated in the back of the driver’s seat, so as not to obstruct the driver. It is hoped that it will be able to automatically adjust interior conditions, such as temperature, to relax the driver. The system may, eventually, be able to bring the car safely to a stop in a medical emergency.