The British automaker is developing new technology that will use sensors in the steering wheel to measure your brainwaves, and if that isn’t creepy enough, Jaguar Land Rover believes it can detect whether you’re distracted or falling asleep.
“If brain activity indicates a daydream or poor concentration, then the steering wheel or pedals could vibrate to raise the driver’s awareness and re-engage them with driving,” said the company’s research and technology director Dr Wolfgang Epple. In order to develop the technology, Jaguar Land Rover is actually researching a method that is used by NASA to develop a pilot’s concentration skills.
User trials are underway to collect more data on how different brainwaves can be identified through the steering wheel sensors with the assistance of neuroscientists. Ideally, Jaguar Land Rover will be able to offer the technology as part of a new wide range of safety features aimed at reducing accidents caused by stress and distracted driving.
In addition to the steering wheel sensors, the automaker is testing a medical-grade sensor integrated in the seat of a Jaguar XJ to detect vibrations from a driver’s heartbeat and breathing.
“One key piece of new research is to see how we could measure brainwaves to monitor if the driver is alert and concentrating on driving,” added Epple. “Even if the eyes are on the road, a lack of concentration or a daydream will mean the driver isn’t paying attention to the driving task. They may miss a warning icon or sound, or be less aware of other road users so we are looking at how we could identify this and prevent it causing an accident.”
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