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Brain-to-vehicle tech redefines future of driving

Nissan’s brain-to-vehicle technology promises to speed up reaction time for drivers and will be demonstrated at CES 2018

Brain decoding technology predicts a driver's actions and detects discomfort
Brain decoding technology predicts a driver's actions and detects discomfort

Nissan plans to showcase a new concept vehicle where signals from a driver’s brain are interpreted to anticipate their next actions and help improve the driving experience.


The automaker will demonstrate the capabilities of its brain-to-vehicle, or B2V, technology using a driving simulator at CES 2018 trade show in Las Vegas.


B2V aims to speed up reaction times for drivers and will lead to cars that keep adapting to make driving more enjoyable, Nissan said.


“When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines. said Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president, Nissan.


“Yet B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable. Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are moving people to a better world by delivering more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity.”


This latest development is the result of research into using brain decoding technology to predict a driver’s actions and detect discomfort:

  • Predict: 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
  • Detect: by detecting and evaluating driver discomfort, artificial intelligence can change the driving configuration or driving style when in autonomous mode

Nissan claims its B2V technology is the world’s first system of its kind. 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 action – such as turning the steering wheel or slowing the car – between 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than the driver, while remaining largely imperceptible.


Other possible uses include adjusting the vehicle’s internal environment. For example, the technology can use augmented reality to adjust what the driver sees and create a more relaxing environment.


“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” added Dr Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Centre in Japan, who’s leading the B2V research.


“This research will be a catalyst for more Nissan innovation inside our vehicles in the years to come.”


Nissan’s display will be at booth 5431 in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall.


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