Jaguar Land Rover is exploring the possibility of brainwave sensor monitoring to improve driver concentration and improve vehicle safety.
The new research project named Mind Sense, will develop sensors that are embedded in the seats and steering wheels of research vehicles. At the Gaydon Technology Test Centre, researchers have adapted sensors used by Nasa applications to assess the concentration of the driver in the hope to reduce accidents on the road.
Jaguar Land Rover explained how it hopes monitoring brain activity will achieve this goal:
“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,” said Dr Wolfgang Epple, JLR Director of Research & Development. “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.”
How does it work?
Our brains produce four or more distinct types of brainwaves. During daydreaming, Theta waves are the dominant type of brainwave and by monitoring their occurrence, Jaguar Land Rover believe it will be able to detect when driver concentration is waning.
Traditionally, monitoring brainwaves has been performed using sensors placed on the head. Recognising that this isn’t suitable for driving, Jaguar Land Rover have developed sensors which will be embedded into the steering wheel and the data then captured onto an on-board computer. They have also created a sensor which will be embedded into the seat in order to pick up the driver’s heart-beat and breathing. All this data will then be used in the hope of improving driver – vehicle safety and thus reduce human error accidents on the road.
Source: The Engineer