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Future cars will read our minds

Nissan

Nissan and Swiss researhers are collaborating on a car of the future that will read drivers' minds to make the task at hand easier and safer.

What's on your mind as you drive down the road? Cars of the future may tap into those thoughts in order to keep you and our roads safer.

The technology builds on brain-machine interface research pioneered at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland that allows wheelchairs users to get around using their minds. 


A wheelchair controlled by thought alone, from the EPFL Lab of José Millan.

Now, in collaboration with Nissan, the team has announced the car and driver is the next frontier.

"The idea is to blend driver and vehicle intelligence together in such a way that eliminates conflict between them, leading to a safer motoring environment," Jose del Millan, who the EPFL researcher leading the project, said in a media statement.

The system will measure brain activity, eye movement patterns, and the environment around the car to predict what the driver plans to do — such as turn left or change lanes to pass a slowpoke — and then help the driver make the move.

The idea of cars that help drivers get along down the road isn't entirely new. Earlier this year, we reported on a group of German researchers who have a car that turns left and right using brain waves.

More stores on cars, technology, and mind control:


John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com.

As computing power increases exponentially, the ways we relate to computers become more natural — and more ubiquitous. Msnbc.com's Wilson Rothman explores the evolution of interfaces, from primitive punch cards to interactive buildings.