Nissan IMx KURO Concept
Nissan’s mind reading concept wants to make you a better driver
Nissan's IMx KURO concept car doesn't just have a fancy cabin and an all-electric drivetrain – it can also read your mind using an in-built EEG helmet.
The brain to vehicle (B2V) interface is something of a world first, using an EEG reading headset to detect a person's actions and reactions when driving. It debuted as a research project at CES in January – and how it's been integrated into a vehicle for the first time. Though, perhaps unsurprisingly, this very much remains a concept for the time being.
When the driver is in manual control of the car the headset system looks for signs that they are about to take an action, such as brake, accelerate or turn. If these brain patterns are detected, the car's driver assist system will speed up the action. Depending on what the driver is trying to do, the time difference between a normal human reaction and the computer assisted one can be 0.2 - 0.5 seconds faster, which could make all the difference in a hazardous situation.
And it also has a purpose in full autonomous mode. While you're kicking back with the steering wheel hidden in the dashboard and the front seats reclined, the helmet reads your reactions during the ride for signs of discomfort, and will change things accordingly. This could be to speed up and take the outside lane on a motorway if you feel things are going too slowly, or to soften the suspension if you are feeling the bumps in the road too much.
Unfortunately for the passengers, the IMx only includes one headset for the driver to use. Maybe in future Nissan will add more, but should the concept make it to production unchanged, backseat riders will have no choice but to ask the driver nicely if they want to change the aircon or the radio.
The IMx itself first appeared at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, but the KURO vision revealed at the Geneva Motor Show has been altered to include the B2V technology. A few design tweaks make it look "purposeful and indestructible", according to Nissan. The concept is all-electric and four-wheel drive, with two electric motors producing 320kW (429hp) and 700Nm of torque, and a new high-capacity battery giving a 600km (373 miles) range.
It's all very much a concept for the time being, but Nissan is aiming to have autonomous cars on sale in two years. Perhaps mind reading cars will only be a short distance behind.