Nissan Uses Mind Reading To Build Smarter Cars

In Europe, Nissan is pioneering futuristic R&D technologies to ensure that our roads are as safe as possible. The automaker is even looking at existing technology that allows disabled people to maneuver their wheelchairs by thought transference alone.

Nissan is hoping to adapt this technology, called Brain Machine Interface (BMI) systems, to the car and driver of the future.

“The idea is to blend driver and vehicle intelligence together in such a way that eliminates conflicts between them, leading to a safer motoring environment,” said Professor José del R. Millán, who is leading the project.

Thought control – via brain-machine interface – is well established in the scientific world. But Nissan wants to take that technology a bit further and use statistical analysis to predict a diver’s intentions and to evaluate a driver’s cognitive state relevant to the driving environment.

Using brain activity measurement, eye movement patterns and by scanning the environment around the car in conjunction with the car’s own sensors, it should be possible to predict what the driver plans to do – be it a turn, an overtake, a lane change – and then assist with the maneuver in complete safety, thus improving the driving experience.

Lucian Gheorghe at Nissan’s Mobility Research Center added, “By developing innovative safety features we will be able to give greater peace of mind to drivers and their passengers and keep Nissan at the heart of a mobile society long into the future.”