While Google is busy researching self-driving cars, Nissan has teamed up with Swiss technological university École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EFPL) to research a car that works in tandem with its human master by reading the driver’s thoughts and acting on them. Suppose you are driving along and a hazardous situation pops up that prompts you to take action. In situations like that, every millisecond counts and an eternity almost passes between the time your brain processes and creates a response and the time you physically execute that response. What the mind-reading car will do is use its
crystal ball brain wave technology to prepare itself or even take action far quicker than the time it takes for a human to react. EFPL professor Jose del R Millan sums up the concept:
The idea is to blend driver and vehicle intelligence together in such a way that eliminates conflicts between them, leading to a safer motoring environment.
Of course the example I gave is an extreme scenario. The research will focus on using a combination of eye movement patterns, brain activity measurement, and environmental scanning to anticipate the next move a driver will take, whether it be turning left or speeding up. The adjustments the car will make won’t be extremely drastic, but in the case of the emergency situation the car might start slowing down ahead of time, reducing the chances of a bad situation turning worse due to human response time. The team expects to have a prototype ready by 2015 and there is no information on whether or not the prototype will be equipped with machine gun turrets for the times the driver experiences road rage.