Nissan's 'B2V' system lets you drive with brain waves
Science & Tech / /
New 'brain to vehicle' system helps drivers ensure comfort and control by tapping into a driver's neurological activity in the brain.
Certainly, driverless cars are future in the automobile industry, yet it doesn't mean that automakers are excluding flesh-and-blood drivers from that concept. Speaking of that, Nissan has come up with a new technology that is designed to make driving fun for the folks behind the wheel. A so called "brain decoding system" enables vehicles to anticipate a driver's action — hit the brakes or gas or make a turn — and then realize the action even before the driver does.
"Brain To Vehicle," or "B2V" system uses an electrode-studded skullcap, which aim is to capture the driver's brain activity and artificial intelligence to interpret it.
The system works in a way that it detects brain signals that trigger the movement of the driver's feet or hands a moment just a moment before it begins. As the company announced the time between the detected brain signal and the interpretation of the action is cut down to half a second. The driver is still, as usual, needed to turn the wheel and pushes the pedals— but with an enhanced sense of control.
"When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines," Daniele Schillaci, an executive vice president at Nissan, said in the statement, adding that "B2V technology does the opposite."
Even when the car is in self-driving mode, the system is monitoring driver’s confort and take corrections if needed. For instance the system is following whether the driver is too hot or cold, and according to that the system could change the position of the air vents.
That sounds great, but experts are still having doubts, especially about the cap that is catching the impulses.
"Anything that would require the driver to wear any type of sensor would be deemed intrusive," Dr. Jim Sayer, director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, said. "I think that some drivers might also wonder what other thoughts are being monitored. So I'm not too sure about the practicalities of the technology's adoption."
The question Sayer is setting is what the system would do if a driver chose to do something unsafe. "Is the system going to act on those types of thoughts, or only the 'legitimate' and safe ones?" he said.
Another expert on automotive technology at the Stanford University's Dr. Chris Gerdes, brings in question the system's ability to detect relevant brain activity.
"The brain is used for all sorts of things, so sorting out the signal you want from the 'noise' of other brain activity is often difficult," he said.