Automakers these days are trying to jam as much new technology as possible into cars to, hopefully, one day make self-driving cars a reality. Nissan Motors is more interested in learning from your brain.
Amid the buzz of next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Japanese automaker is planning to unveil what it’s calling “brain-to-vehicle” technology. The idea is that vehicles can interpret signals from a driver’s brain to better understand and redefine how people interact with an automobile.
Nissan said it’s going to achieve this by using brain-decoding technology to “predict a driver’s actions and detect discomfort.” That process requires the driver to wear a “device” that looks like a skullcap. As you can see from the very comfortable driver up top, a series of wires protrude from the cap and, Nissan says, measure “measures brain wave activity, which is then analyzed by autonomous systems.”
Once the readings are transmitted to the autonomous systems, Nissan says the car will be able to catch signs from the driver’s brain—like turning a steering wheel or push the throttle. If the driver’s uncomfortable, artificial intelligence can change the driving configuration or driving style while operating autonomously.
As I’m sure you guessed, Nissan’s calling this the world’s first system of its kind. Nissan told Bloomberg the technology should be ready in five to 10 years and will be included in fully-autonomous cars.
The automaker’s planning to demonstrate the technology at CES using Nissan’s IMx electric concept car. Bloomberg reports that people will be able to briefly simulate driving on a highway and, if it works, the car will make adjustments in real-time. Which, really, that sounds crazy. I hope there’s room for us to try it next week because I need to see how this melding of human and machine works in person.