Nissan's future cars may read your brain to improve reaction time

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What may sound like the fevered dreams of sci-fi enthusiasts, Nissan is set to showcase the work it has been doing on brain-to-vehicle technology at CES 2018 next week, where it will demonstrate its Intelligent Mobility vision for transforming how auto are driven and their integration in society.

Nissan's executive vice president Daniele Schillaci claims the system could function as a gateway to fully autonomous vehicles, by helping drivers learn to trust this type of technology.

Nissan has developed new technology that allows vehicles to read the brain activity of drivers, and initiate movement in response. It can detect stress or discomfort, for example, and adjust the way the vehicle is operating, whether it is in manual or autonomous mode, according to Nissan. That data is analyzed by autonomous systems inside the auto.

The driver wears a wired skullcap that measures brain wave activity and the vehicle's autonomous systems interprets the signals.

Instead of removing the human element completely, the driver's brain activity is measured and sent to the auto using a headband, the announcement said. Any car-taken actions will be mostly unnoticeable to the driver, Nissan said.

Nissan, part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has been among the most aggressive automakers in pursuing electric and autonomous cars.

B2V is the latest development in the company's move to transform how cars are driven, powered and integrated into society.

The manufacturer says this means the auto can act 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than a driver, which could make a big difference in reducing the time between seeing stationary traffic and braking, for example. Nissan's study claims B2V can react 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than driving without the system's aid. Eventually the company believes it might be able to safely use augmented reality to alter what a driver sees and create a more relaxing driving experience.

In this CES show that is going to start in Jan 9th, you are going to see a lot about cars that drive themselves using computers and the use of AI in auto industry. "This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovation inside our vehicles in the years to come".

Nissan will use a driving simulator to demonstrate some elements of the technology at CES, and Gheorghe will be on hand to answer questions.