Reaction times when driving can occur to be a bit of a pain most of the time. From the moment when a driver sees danger on the track to the moment their brain has manipulated it, vital seconds slip by.
Then There is another delay in response as our body follows our brain’s command to press the brake pedal or to move off the animal’s way that rushed suddenly into the middle of the road. It doesn’t always work out well.
Nissan is now working on a way of minimising this delay of response by deleting that middle step of the response process, where our brain sends signals to the body which stamps on the brakes to avoid an accident. The solution: remove the hurdle between the vehicle and the driver, by empowering the car to read the driver’s mind. It’s called “brain-to-vehicle” technology.
At CES, this year Nissan plans to release an awkward-looking but impressively effective brain cap that enables a car to receive commands directly from the driver’s mind. This popular mind-reading technology has been in development since ages, and up till now it scientists have made much progress regarding it, allowing for all kinds of communication between humans and machines that don’t involve any embarrassing plugging of USB cables into compromising places.
This technology can be used to build prosthetic limbs for amputees which respond to a person’s thoughts and to enable the disabled ones to play their favourite musical instruments. This technology can also actually work for someone who merely wishes to become Doctor Octopus.
Lucian Gheorghe, Nissan’s senior innovation researcher, announced during a press release:
What we are preparing is a vehicle that is ready for brain connectivity. Nissan is the very first manufacturer that is bringing real-time brain activity in vehicles as a means of enhancing driving pleasure and the experience in autonomous-driving vehicles.
Until now, this technology is being used only to empower the classic methods of driving a vehicle, but we hope that ultimately, it will enable drivers to have complete control over their car’s functions just by using the power of thought. This innovation would hopefully allow the disabled to be able to drive vehicles in a way that is impossible right now.
This seems all good, but it also does feel a bit like the wrong thing for an innovative company like Nissan to be researching on during this particular period of the technological revolution.
Why enable drivers to control their cars with their thoughts, when numerous other automotive companies are working on manufacturing vehicles that are auto-pilot? As we are ultimately moving towards a period when we would have autonomous self-driving vehicles that ferry passengers around, it looks a little obsolescent to be working on making cars more submissive to the incomplete, error-prone instructions from a human driver. Even Nissan itself is researching to build self-driving cars, so it seems like the decision to also invest in mind-reading vehicles probably suggests that the company has many expectations for this new technology.
It seems like self-driving cars would not universally accept any time in the coming years – people will still like to drive for leisure, and as such, it might help if this hobby is more likely inclusive to the ones who might be unable to operate without assistance.
No matter what the reason might be, advancement in this technology will hopefully advance us humans towards a scenario where we can control all sorts of things with our brain.
Who won’t like to be able to make the TV remote levitate right into our hands while sitting on the couch, munching peanuts on a cold winter night?
Without a doubt, this can be the smartest possible use of the technology that enables people to control machines with their mind.