We have all been anticipating self-driving cars, that we never saw the possibility of mind-reading cars. Lucky for us, Nissan researchers have been working on a helmet that allows your car direct contact with your brain or as direct as you can get without directly attaching wires to your exposed brain.
The helmet detects motor neurons which like they sound are neurons that tell your body to perform motor functions (like swerving left or slamming the breaks). There is a half second lag from when you decide to move a body part to when the action takes place. Nissan wants to eliminate this delay, by getting the information directly from the source—your brain.
What Difference Can 500 Milliseconds Have?
What are the advantages of getting information half a second quicker? The researchers behind this technology believe it will improve safety and efficiency. For example, if your car knows you want to turn left before your body does, it can adjust the wheels for you. Maybe you’re too cold, your brain can communicate to your car and have the heat turned on.
This is cool and all, but is the headgear actually comfortable? After all, drivers are not likely to wear this cap if it’s more of a distraction than it is helpful. The researchers had multiple prototypes with some of them resembling shower caps, Frankenstein style headgear, and even some that contained tons of conductive gel. Nissan has worked through many iterations to develop something non-intrusive, comfortable, and practical. This iteration contains minimal wiring and only has eleven points touching your scalp which are held in place with gentle elastic cords. The headgear is wireless and has a Bluetooth transmitter on one side, and a battery on the other.
Are You Skeptical? You’re Not Alone…
This helmet has been called the auto correct of driving. However, many are skeptical and concerned about what other information this helmet is gathering. Privacy concerns are nothing new when it comes tech-enabled devices, however, having access to a person’s brain is a completely different ballpark. There is also the concern of technical issues, where your helmet might tell your car to turn left when you actually want to turn right. An error in decision making can cause your car and you serious damage.
Would you wear this helmet? Let us know!