Nissan has pulled the wraps of some new research that it claims will allow vehicles to interpret signals from the brain of the driver and redefine how people interact with their cars. Nissan calls it Brain-to-Vehicle, or B2V technology. The Japanese auto giant claims that it will speed up reaction times for driver and eventually lead to cars that adapt to make driving more enjoyable. Nissan will be showing off the new B2V technology at CES 2018.
"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," said Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci. "Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are moving people to a better world by delivering more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity."
The B2V interface has a goal of allowing the decoding technology to predict a driver's actions and detect discomfort. Nissan wants to catch signals that indicate a driver's brain is about to initiate movement, like turning the steering wheel or accelerating, and allow driver assist tech to begin the action quicker. Nissan says that this could improve reaction time and enhance manual driving.
The detection capability would evaluate driver discomfort and then the AI in the car could change driving configuration and style when in autonomous mode. Researcher Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, who heads the B2V research, says that the tech could also use augmented realty to adjust what the driver sees and create a more relaxing environment.
"The potential applications of the technology are incredible," Gheorghe said. "This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovation inside our vehicles in the years to come."
The tech requires the driver to wear a device that measures brain wave activity. That data is analyzed by autonomous systems inside the car. Nissan claims that the tech allows the steering wheel to be turned or the car slowed 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than the driver alone while remaining largely imperceptible to the driver. That could make all the difference in an accident avoidance situation.