Nissan working on mind-reading technology for future-generation cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 1, 2011

Nissan Motor Co.’s future generation cars will feature some sort of mind-reading device to reduce the time lag between thought and vehicle response. The company is currently developing this technology with Swiss scientists. The project is being led by Jose del R. Millan, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He said that this investigative work seeks to “blend driver and vehicle intelligence together in such a way that eliminates conflicts between them, leading to a safer motoring environment.”

Nissan released an image of a research assistant whose head has wires attached to it as a virtual driving experiment is being conducted. Nissan’s research aims to monitor thought functions.

These are the brain energy activity and eye movement patterns. One example is being able to simultaneously focus on activity inside and outside the vehicle.

This concept will then make use of advanced statistical analysis to determine what the driver wants to do, whether it’s changing lanes or passing a slower vehicle, and then perform the thought.

Nissan described this work as part of the raised emphasis on new technology attached to its "Nissan Power 88" six-year business plan.

Compact lithium-ion batteries power the Nissan LEAF. These batteries give it more than 90kW of power. Meanwhile, the LEAF also has an electric motor that provides 80kW, giving you a responsive and fun driving experience that gives customers the same experience that they get from driving traditional gasoline-fueled cars.

The LEAF's powertrain does not have an internal-combustion engine so it does not need a tail pipe. There are no carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Using both the cutting-edge lithium-ion battery packs and the regenerative braking system, the Nissan LEAF delivers a driving range of at least 160 kilometers in a single full charge.

Wide-scale consumer research shows that this range is perfect for the daily driving requirements of more than 70% of drivers around the world. Also, the Nissan LEAF is easy and convenient. Using a quick charger, you can charge the LEAF to 80% of its full charge capacity in a little less than half an hour. If you charge at home using a 200V power source, it usually takes around eight hours to fully recharge it. You can do so overnight!

For the real world

The designers and engineers who worked behind the LEAF wanted to develop a real world vehicle that is competitively priced and would allow the Japanese carmaker to dominate the zero-emission era. The LEAF has a new chassis and body layout to make it more comfortable and spacious, as well as expand its cargo capacity.

Nissan product chief designer Masato Inoue says that they wanted to create the world's first midsized electric vehicle that consumers could afford and beautiful enough to use every day. And they succeeded in doing just that with the LEAF. What's more, the LEAF's design will show the world that the owner, not only Nissan, is also into zero-emission mobility.

Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn also says that the LEAF is a big achievement for the carmakers and all employees can take pride in the development of the electric car. Ghosn reveals that they have been working hard to make the LEAF a reality and to launch a real-world car that absolutely has no emissions. He refers to this as the first step into "an exciting journey" that would involve the Japanese carmaker, the entire auto manufacturing industry and eventually everybody.

Topics: nissan, technology

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