Nissan developing car that reads your thoughts

In a collaboration with Swiss researchers, Nissan's car will anticipate what the driver wants to do. Not intended for angry drivers.


Road rage much? You might want to think twice about that if you're driving a mind-controlled car under development by Nissan.

The automaker teamed up with Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) to create a vehicle that can anticipate maneuvers like turning left or right "after scanning the thought patterns of its driver."

In a similar vein, researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology used a BMI (brain-machine interface) simulator that allowed drivers to stop 130 milliseconds faster via thought control than brakes alone. EPFL scientists have already enabled wheelchair users to steer with their minds through BMI technology, as seen in the vid below.

That kind of piloting requires a high level of concentration, so the Swiss scientists are trying other methods to develop a driving system that can respond to less focused mental states.

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The research team, led by EPFL professor Jose del R. Millan, is using statistical analysis to allow the BMI to predict a driver's intentions. The system will crunch input data from the brain scans, eye movements, and the surrounding environment via car sensors.

"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," Millan was quoted as saying by Nissan.

The carmaker added, "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."

I can't wait for cars to drive themselves, and this might be an intermediary step. I just hope the BMI car comes with KITT's voice.

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