If you won't use your brain our machine will use it for you, Nissan tells drivers

'Brain-to-Vehicle' driving tech wheeled out

RotM Nissan reckons it has developed technology that will allow you to control cars of the future with your brainwaves.

The Japanese carmaker is touting its so-called Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) tech, which it says it will demo in full at the CES trade show in Las Vegas next week.

Exec veep Daniele Schillaci said, in a company statement, that humans could use “signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable.”

This amusingly implausible development has supposedly come about thanks to Nissan research into “brain decoding technology”. It said: “By catching signs that the driver’s brain is about to initiate a movement – such as turning the steering wheel or pushing the accelerator pedal – driver assist technologies can begin the action more quickly. This can improve reaction times and enhance manual driving.” Nissan also reckons that “by detecting and evaluating driver discomfort, artificial intelligence can change the driving configuration or driving style when in autonomous mode.”

Other reports indicated that the brain-scanning is achieved by making the driver wear an electrode-laden skullcap. Bloomberg interviewed the Nissan researcher behind this mad wheeze, Lucian Georghe, who was insistent that the brain-scanning hat setup is “not about reading thoughts”.

The idea, apparently, is to deliver a “positive experience” for driving rather than taking humans out of the driving loop altogether, which is what the rest of the world is working on.

Georghe supposedly uses the mind-control predictive software himself on his 15-minute commute to work.

One can easily imagine a misreading by the skull-scanner could cause an accident, but so far there is little technical detail available on this system, other than that it apparently turns the steering wheel or “slows the car” within “0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than the driver”.

Although El Reg won’t be at CES, the consumer gadget show, Nissan will be with a mind-bending driving simulator for folk to try it out. Don’t forget your tinfoil. ®

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