Neurofeedback Technology: The Future Of Driver Monitoring Or Science Fiction Mind Control?

Walter Molino 1962

This may be a bit of a stretch, but imagine, if you can, a time when your car can read your mind and decide if you are mentally fit enough to drive. We’re talking about Neurofeedback Technology meets Driverless Car and it may not be as far fetched as it sounds.

Right now car designers are looking at a range of systems for monitoring everything from eye movement and heart rate to skin resistivity. So why not take it a step further and monitor our brainwaves for good measure?

If biofeedback can be used to measure certain functions in our body — heart rate for example — and then use that data to adjust those functions when things go awry, then surely there is a role for Neurofeedback in driver monitoring.

Neurofeedback, which specifically refers to using brainwaves, measured by an electroencephalogram or EEG, to gain insight and provide treatment for everything from ADHD, to depression, to addiction, or even just sharpen focus, is already used by athletes to excel in their field.

Here’s how it works. The first step is to get a quantitative EEG: a map of your resting brain waves that is compared to a huge database of other typical brainwaves. From there, a neuroscientist can analyse this pattern and identify anything that’s different from the norm.

Easy right? Of course, and it just takes a tech tie in, such as some kind of in-car sensor, to connect the brainwaves to the Internet Of Things and a car will really be able to to read your mind.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are, apparently, working on a project known as Mind Sense, an initiative that, according to sources at JLR is “exploring the use of steering-wheel sensors to monitor brain activity and gauge a driver’s level of alertness.”

The technology works by monitoring the presence of theta waves — a distinct form of brainwave that is prevalent during daydreaming. JLR believes that, by detecting a spike in these signals, the system will be able to detect when a driver’s concentration is waning and will trigger some form of alert to raise the driver’s awareness.

Watch this space for further news about this exciting tech development.

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