“When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines,” Nissan executive vice president Daniele Schillaci said. “Yet B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable.”
Nissan said it has been researching how to “predict a driver’s actions and detect discomfort” through the use of “brain decoding technology”.
“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,” Nissan said. “This can improve reaction times and enhance manual driving.”
“By detecting and evaluating driver discomfort, artificial intelligence can change the driving configuration or driving style when in autonomous mode,” it said.
B2V technology could also be used to allow drivers to alter the environment in which they are driving, Nissan said.
“The technology can use augmented reality to adjust what the driver sees and create a more relaxing environment,” it said.
For the B2V technology to work, the driver must wear a device that measures brain wave activity. This is then analysed by “autonomous systems”, according to the company.
“By anticipating intended movement, the systems can take actions – such as turning the steering wheel or slowing the car – 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than the driver, while remaining largely imperceptible,” Nissan said.
The UK government announced in November last year that it would update UK legislation to allow fully autonomous cars to be tested on UK roads without “a human safety operator” present in the vehicles with a view to such testing taking place by 2021.
Proposed new laws regarding driverless cars were introduced before the UK parliament in October 2017. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill makes provision for the registration of all driverless cars in the UK, and addresses how liability for accidents involving such vehicles should be apportioned. The Bill is also designed to support upgrades in UK infrastructure to support anticipated growth in the use of electric vehicles.