CES 2018 | Nissan is working on cars that can read your mind
The idea of a self-driving car is coming closer to a commercial reality, but one major automobile manufacturer is driving a bit further into the realm of science fiction. Nissan revealed their latest project today, an AI-based car system that aims to work with human drivers rather than replacing them. However, the tech is based on something straight from sci-fi serials: mind reading.
Nissan's Brain-to-Vehicle, or B2V, is a new system that aims to read a driver's brain patterns in order to interpret and accurately guess at the driver's upcoming decisions and react accordingly. Nissan's Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci said:
'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.'
The tech has two main areas in which it aims to aid drivers: the prediction of future actions and the detection (and elimination) of discomfort. B2V hopes to be able to predict a driver's action by reading brain waves and detecting brain activity that corresponds with specific actions, like turning the wheel or braking, up to 300 ms before the action takes place. Once predicted, the car can then use other automated systems to prepare the car for a faster and more responsive reaction. For example, if a driver's brain waves indicate that they will change lanes, B2V should be able to interpret this and check exterior cameras to make sure that the space around the car is clear and adjust speed, brakes, and traction accordingly.
B2V is also being designed to detect driver discomfort, such as when a driver is fatigued or uncomfortable, and change the driving style. The system can shift more control to the driver or make the vehicle more reliant on other autonomous systems to take some strain off the human operator based on the driver's brain patterns. The system might also integrate augmented reality to create a more "relaxing environment" for the driver.
B2V is currently in the early stages of development, but Nissan is expected to demonstrate the technology in a driving simulator at CES 2018. It's certainly an interesting take on autonomous driving, and one that's veering in a different direction than competitors.