While many of the world’s auto manufacturers are working on developing self-driving cars that eliminate the human factor from the driving process, others are looking the opposite way and creating technologies that allow drivers to maintain more precise and intuitive control over their vehicles.
This is exactly what Nissan has been working on, and the company has just announced the first results of its research into developing “Brain-to-Vehicle” (B2V) technologies. By examining ways to harness and interpret signals emitted by the driver’s brain, the Japanese automaker is looking to redefine the way people interact with their car, particularly as it concerns reaction times and adaptability.
The company is framing its results has a world first, and folded them into its over-arching Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy, which aims to transform the way cars are powered, driven and integrated into modern society and ultimately eliminate fatal road accidents completely.
“When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines. Yet B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable.”
- Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci
According to the company, the new system can detect when the brain prepares to initiate a movement such as turning the steering wheel or pressing on the accelerator, and activate the drive assist systems more rapidly (approximately in between 0.2 and 0.5 seconds, in Nissan estimation) in response. The system can also sense discomfort on the part of the driver and adjust the settings of the vehicle or of its interior accordingly.
The possible applications of such technology are clearly virtually endless; on the other hand, the driver has to accept to wear a helmet (as shown in the image here), which may not be to everyone’s taste. In any event, Nissan will be present next week at CES 2018 in Las Vegas with a simulator. Make sure to check out our coverage of the event to discover what new technologies the other auto manufacturers bring to the show.