Nissan Motor Company Ltd has unveiled its Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology that will enable vehicles to interpret signals from the driver’s brain, redefining how people interact with their cars. The B2V technology is claimed to speed up reaction times for drivers and will lead to cars that keep adapting to make driving more enjoyable, Nissan said. The company will demonstrate capabilities of this technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas. B2V is the latest development in Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is the company’s vision for transforming how cars are driven, powered and integrated into society.
Nissan said that its B2V technology is the world’s first system of its kind, with this breakthrough being a result of research into using brain decoding technology to predict a driver’s actions and detect discomfort. The act of prediction takes place 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. This enables the driver assist technologies can begin the action more quickly, resulting in improved reaction times and enhanced manual driving. Additionally, by detecting and evaluating driver discomfort, artificial intelligence can change the driving configuration or driving style when in autonomous mode.
For the B2V system, the driver wears a device that measures brain wave activity, which is then analysed by autonomous systems. By anticipating intended movement, the systems can take actions such as turning the steering wheel or slowing the car. The system is claimed to be 0.2-0.5 seconds faster than the driver, while remaining largely imperceptible, explained Nissan. Nissan will use a driving simulator to demonstrate some elements of the technology at CES 2018.
Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President, Nissan, said that when most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines. B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from the driver’s brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable, he added. Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company is moving people to a better world by delivering more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity, noted Schillaci.
Other possible uses include adjusting the vehicle’s internal environment, noted Dr Lucian Gheorghe, Senior Innovation Researcher, Nissan Research Centre Japan, who is leading the B2V research. He said the technology could also use augmented reality to adjust what the driver sees and create a more relaxing environment. “The potential applications of the technology are incredible. This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovation inside our vehicles in the years to come,” added Dr Gheorghe.