Nissan is working on a brain-controlled driving system

nissan car safety
Lafayette - 13/6/17: Logo and Signage of a Nissan Car and SUV Dealership. Photo: Jonathan Weiss, Bigstock

From futuristic chassis designs to high-tech interior features, cars are simply becoming “smarter” each day. Back in the day, a car with MP3 audio was considered a luxury, while we couldn’t even imagine having a touch screen featured on the dashboard.

Thankfully, car technology developed to the point where we can drive safer and even rely more to our vehicles. And, that’s exactly what Nissan is working on.

The company is trying to develop a system to help drivers maneuver safer by using brain wave technology. The idea is to develop a device which will track brain waves in order to help drivers react faster during evasive maneuvers and make driving safer.

Nissan suggests that a car will actually learn from the driver

The company has revealed it’s newest program called Brain-To-Vehicle (B2V) which is a part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility and focuses on faster driving reactions.

This technology will help the car determine if the driver is about to perform an evasive move like braking or swerving while potentially speeding up those maneuvers. 

This latest breakthrough relays on the measurement of neurons firing in the brain, which could predict driver’s actions while detecting and removing driver’s discomfort.

Nissan’s device will catch signs from driver’s brain, which indicate that the driver will make a movement – an action like accelerating or turning the steering wheel.

The technology will be able to assist the driver and perform that action more quickly, which can significantly improve driver’s reaction time and maintain safe driving.

The new driver assistance technology will also be able to detect driver’s discomfort and evaluate it. By discovering these potential hazards, artificial intelligence will be able to take control and change the driving configuration and style, when in auto mode.

There is still a lot more to be done

Although Nissan’s representatives are hoping that the Brain-To-Vehicle’s practical application will come within the next five to ten years, finalising this type of technology might take longer.

This concept is based on EEG, also known as electroencephalography method, which requires a headset with electrodes on a person’s scalp, in order to measure brain patterns.

However, EEG headsets were used in the past in video gaming, prosthetic limb development and even in Renault’s experiment where they actually tried to control a car.

In addition, Jaguar was testing the similar system back in 2015, while some researchers were exploring similar theories in 2011. Even though these previous attempts weren’t successful and there were many cases where EEG method failed, Nissan strongly believes that their approach is going in the right direction.

In the recent press release, Nissan’s representatives explained that even though a driver will wear a headset of electrodes, this won’t be a distraction.

Nissan’s Brain-To-Vehicle technology won’t be a distraction for drivers


Nissan’s new advertisement. Video: Nissan/ YouTube

In the video shown by the car giant, a driver is seen wearing the latest device, which was described as easy to wear and lightweight, although it is equipped with high-performing sensors.

There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered, but one thing is sure – Nissan is definitely moving towards brain-assisted vehicles.

The company even helped in the creation process of a brain-assisted vehicle – Cybathalon, which was done in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Although this was created for competition purpose, enabling people with disabilities to compete, they still had a chance to use and test EEG based driver assistance technology.