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MM: Driving With Brainwaves

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, we take a look at Nissan's Brain-to-Vehicle, or B2V, technology, that determines what a driver is about to do, a split-second before they actually do it.

As we eagerly, or not so eagerly for some, await the arrival of mass-produced, commonly used self-driving cars — we are seeing more semi-autonomous driving assisting technologies. Just this month, Nissan has announced such a system. Known as the Brain-to-Vehicle, or B2V, technology, Nissan’s system determines what a driver is about to do, a split-second before they actually do it.

Currently the system is a prototype form and in order for it to work a driver must wear a headset equipped with electrodes that measures and “decodes” their brain’s motor cortex activity. Based on the data the system receives from the driver, it is able to detect signs when the driver is about to initiate sudden movements—like turning the steering wheel or slamming on the brakes—and then initiates the actions itself before the driver can.

Although the system is largely imperceptible, being only about .2 or .5 seconds faster than a driver, Nissan claims that’s enough time to make a big difference in emergency situations. Nissan will be demonstrating the B2V system at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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