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Humans and technology

Nissan Wants You to Control a Car with Your Brain

January 3, 2018

This brain-to-vehicle interface isn’t a love child of two Elon Musk projects. No: it’s a project that Japanese automaker Nissan is actually working on.

How it works: Bloomberg says the driver wears a headset covered in electrodes to capture an electroencephalograph, or EEG, of brain activity. From that data Nissan works out when a driver thinks about turning, accelerating, or braking and then has the car enact it 0.2 to 0.5 seconds sooner than a human.

But: Nissan tells the Verge that it’s “aiming for practical application in 5 to 10 years.” That means it’s unlikely to appear on roads until autonomous cars do (see “2021 May Be the Year of the Fully Autonomous Car”).

Why it still matters: When cars are autonomous, driving will remain a pleasure for many people; Nissan argues this could make those occasions safer. And when the car drives itself, brain signals could inform the car of passenger preferences, too.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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